What is farsightedness?
People with farsightedness (also called “hyperopia”) can have difficulty focusing on objects that are close, such as print in a book. More severe farsightedness would also cause problems with seeing objects in the distance clearly, such as highway signs. Farsightedness is a relatively common condition, affecting approximately 10-30% of the world’s population (depending on the age and location of the individuals being studied). The occurrence of farsightedness increases with age, with at least half of all persons over the age of 65 having some degree of farsightedness. Farsightedness often runs in families and is frequently present at birth. However, many children outgrow it.
What causes farsightedness?
Farsightedness occurs when light entering the eye is underfocused onto the retina (the back of the eye). If the eye is too short, or the front of the eye (the cornea) is too flat, the light will not focus quickly enough to form the correct image on the retina.
What are the symptoms of farsightedness?
In cases of farsightedness, the optics of the eye are too weak, forcing a person to “work” the internal eye muscles in an attempt to see clearly. Individuals with very mild farsightedness may have no symptoms at all.
Symptoms of more severe farsightedness may include:
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on nearby objects.
- Fatigue or headache after performing a close task such as reading.