Farsightedness or hyperopia is a visual impairment that is known in the context of long -sightedness and represents a deviation from normal vision.
What is farsightedness?
The term farsightedness is usually used colloquially. Technically precise, terms such as hyperopia and hypermetropia are classic terms in ophthalmology and medicine. For hearing loss meanings, please visit whicheverhealth.com.
Farsightedness is a form of ametropia and does not always have to be corrected with a visual aid if the degree of severity is low. Normally, those affected only notice the farsightedness when it is severe and usually only at an advanced age.
Farsightedness or hyperopia is based on very different forms, which are referred to as axial hyperopia and refractive hyperopia. Basically, in far-sightedness, the focal point of the light reflections entering the eye is not in front of the retina, but behind it, which can be compensated to a certain extent imperceptibly and naturally.
The causes that are already responsible for farsightedness in childhood are limited to two factors. Farsightedness can be caused by the fact that the eye is anatomically designed in such a way that the distance between the cornea and the retina is too short to be able to realize the full refractive power.
Corresponding farsightedness can result from the shortening of the axes. This is a typical cause of farsightedness as axis hyperopia. Axis hyperopia as farsightedness is the most commonly diagnosed. Even children are born with this visual impairment.
Refractive hyperopia, or farsightedness due to impairments in the refractive power of the eye, is caused by genetic defects that are congenital. Refractive hyperopia is not that common. A special form of refractive hyperopia as the cause of farsightedness is the absence of the eye lens. Both causes of farsightedness result in blurred vision in the eye.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
In most cases, farsightedness only becomes noticeable in adulthood. In childhood or adolescence, the eye can often compensate for poor eyesight through accommodation, i.e. adjusting the refractive power. In this case, doctors speak of hidden hyperopia.
If long-sightedness becomes more noticeable with increasing age, close-up vision becomes increasingly blurred, for example when reading or working on the computer. In order to still be able to see reasonably sharply, those affected have to hold the object further and further away from their eyes. In addition to impaired vision at close range, farsightedness can cause a number of other symptoms such as headaches, pain and burning in the eyes, the eyes tire more quickly and sometimes conjunctivitis can also occur because the eyes have to constantly overstrain due to the tension in order to avoid blurry vision at close range to balance.
If farsightedness is detected in childhood, it should definitely be corrected, since the constant adjustment of the eye can otherwise lead to inward squinting in affected children. People with farsightedness usually need reading glasses earlier than people with normal or nearsightedness.
Diagnosis & History
In order to recognize farsightedness, the determination of the refractive power by the ophthalmologist is used. This is also known as a refraction test and can also be carried out by an optician if you assume that you are far-sighted. This method also makes it possible to determine how strong the farsightedness is.
Unlike many eye diseases, farsightedness does not depend on age. Even small children can suffer from farsightedness without noticing it and causing problems with vision. Farsightedness does not usually worsen with age and can be compensated for by a visual aid once it has reached a certain level.
With advancing age, however, those affected notice the farsightedness more and more and feel noticeably restricted in their vision due to this visual impairment. In this context, reinforced glasses can be helpful and prevent children from squinting.
As a rule, farsightedness is not a serious condition that can be treated with the help of glasses or contact lenses. However, the further course depends heavily on the underlying disease, if it is present. In the worst case, the person affected can also completely lose their sight.
Complications usually occur when the person concerned does not use their visual aids. The symptoms usually only get worse, so that the patient’s vision continues to decrease. The long-sightedness can lead to limitations in the patient’s everyday life and thus to a reduced quality of life. This can also cause squinting. Especially in children, squinting can also lead to depression or bullying or teasing.
In the treatment of farsightedness, there are usually no complications. In adulthood, the condition can be treated with the help of laser surgery, so that vision is fully restored. There are also no complications and the disease does not affect the life expectancy of the patient. Even without laser treatment, farsightedness can be limited with visual aids so well that there are no further restrictions in everyday life.
When should you go to the doctor?
If the person affected notices changes in their vision, it is advisable to see a doctor for a check-up. Hypersensitivity to the influence of light, blurred vision and general changes in your usual vision should be checked and checked. If the person affected notices impairments in their eyesight in direct comparison to people in their immediate vicinity, they should discuss the observations with a doctor.
If headaches, tension in the neck or inflammatory diseases in the head area occur, there is a need for action. The complaints should be understood as warning signs. If the health impairments mentioned occur more frequently, the cause must be investigated further. Decreasing vision during the day is considered unusual. If objects or people cannot be seen even though they are directly in front of the affected person’s field of vision, a doctor’s visit is necessary. Eye pain or a burning sensation around the eyes should be investigated immediately.
If there are reductions in the impairments as a result of a reduction in overexertion, the person concerned can take action to improve their vision themselves in addition to medical treatment. If the general risk of accidents is increased due to reduced vision, a doctor’s visit is necessary. If people who are already using a vision-improving device notice any changes, they should also consult a doctor.
Treatment & Therapy
There are several treatment options to choose from for the treatment of farsightedness. These are used depending on the age of the person concerned and the extent of the impairment of vision.
Basically, the typical treatment measures are aimed at correcting the refraction of the eyes to the extent that unrestricted vision is possible. The focal point of the eye or eyes must be guided in such a way that it is in front of the retina in the case of farsightedness. The result of long-sightedness with the appropriate treatment or visual aids is normal sharp vision.
Either wearing glasses with so-called converging lenses or suitable contact lenses can ensure this. Procedures that are successfully performed in refractive surgery lead to a definitive correction of farsightedness without external visual aids. Farsightedness can be corrected during a surgical procedure using a laser.
It is only possible to prevent long- sightedness to a limited extent. Unfortunately, no recommended and directly effective procedures are known so far. However, it is important to protect your eyes and have them treated when you become aware of your farsightedness. In small children in particular, unrecognized farsightedness is often a trigger for children to start squinting and the position of their eyes to change. This consequential damage can be prevented by a timely examination of the children’s eyes for a possible presence of farsightedness.
Since farsightedness is not a disease, it does not need to be treated. With the use of adapted glasses or contact lenses, the muscles in the eye are relieved. Thus, the symptoms are significantly alleviated. Regular eye tests ensure that changes in farsightedness are detected in good time. This prevents the symptoms from returning in the long term.
This is on the condition that there are no other ametropia or actual diseases. In addition to long-sightedness, angular ametropia, an uncorrected curvature of the cornea or lens (astigmatism) and an undetected disease can also be decisive for headaches and dizziness. Eye tests can be done by an ophthalmologist or the local optometrist.
So-called optotypes, such as numbers or letters, are shown. This can be used to easily recognize a change in visual acuity. The refractionist who carries out the eye test will also be able to determine whether a further examination is advisable. With a corrective agent, glasses or contact lenses, the light is then directed straight into the eye. Effortless and clear vision should be guaranteed.
When using the device for the first time, it can take a while to get used to it, which depends on the ametropia, age and physical condition of the farsighted person. Despite recurring inconspicuous tests of visual performance, there is no substitute for regular check-ups at the ophthalmologist.
You can do that yourself
Even with farsightedness that has been well treated with corrective measures such as reading glasses or contact lenses, it is important to preserve your eyesight and take appropriate preventive action. It is always advisable to consult an ophthalmologist if there is a change in the eyes, since the risk of developing glaucoma is increased in farsighted people. For this purpose, the intraocular pressure is measured, which, by the way, is not included in the service catalog of the statutory health insurance companies, but is covered in exceptional cases.
From a medical point of view, so-called “eye training” is now not recommended, since training the eye muscles has no effect on the visual acuity of the eyes. Rather, it is important to use your visual aids regularly and to consider beforehand in which everyday situations you need them. For example, it is advisable to keep glasses in the car when driving. It is also a good idea to keep your glasses close at hand at your desk so that they become an integral part of everyday life.
Reading or watching television is not allowed without visual aids. A strap on the glasses allows the wearer to keep them close by at all times. This prevents unnecessary searches. Due to the frequent use, it is inevitable to replace various wearing parts on the glasses at regular intervals. Optometrists offer minor repairs, such as replacing discolored nose pads located on the lower frame of the glasses, free of charge.