Hyperopia overview

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [2]

Overview

Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, longsightedness or hypermetropia, is a defect of vision caused by an imperfection in theeye (often when the eyeball is too short or when the lens cannot become round enough), causing inability to focus on near objects, and in extreme cases causing a sufferer to be unable to focus on objects at any distance. As an object moves toward the eye, the eye must increase its power to keep the image in focus on the retina. If the power of the cornea and lens is insufficient, as in hyperopia, the image will appear blurred.

People with hyperopia can experience blurred vision, asthenopia, accommodative dysfunction, binocular dysfunction, amblyopia, and strabismus.[1]

Hyperopia is often confused with presbyopia,[2][3] another condition that frequently causes blurry near vision.[4] Presbyopes who report good far vision typically experience blurry near vision because of a reduced accommodative amplitude brought about by natural aging changes with the crystalline lens.[4] It is also sometimes referred to as farsightedness, since in otherwise normally-sighted persons it makes it more difficult to focus on near objects than on far objects.[5]

Classification

Hyperopia is typically classified according to clinical appearance, its severity, or how it relates to the eye's accommodative status.

Diagnosis

History and Symtpoms

Visual acuity is affected according to the amount of hyperopia, as well as the patient's age, visual demands, and accommodative ability. Mild farsightedness may not cause any problems except for a need for reading glasses.

Treatment

Surgery

Various eye care professionals, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthoptists, and opticians, are involved in the treatment and management of hyperopia. At the conclusion of an eye examination, an eye doctor may provide the patient with an eyeglass prescription for corrective lenses. Minor amounts of hyperopia are sometimes left uncorrected, however, larger amounts may be corrected with convex lenses in eyeglassesorcontact lenses. Convex lenses have a positive dioptric value, which causes the light to focus closer than its normal range. Hyperopia is sometimes correctable with various refractive surgery procedures (LASIK). It can also be corrected with special concave lenses.

References

  1. American Optometric Association. Optometric Clinical Practice Guideline: Care of the patient with hyperopia. 1997.
  2. "Eye Health: Presbyopia and Your Eyes." WebMD.com. October, 2005. Accessed September 21, 2006.
  3. Chou B. "Refractive Error and Presbyopia." Refractive Source.com Accessed September 20, 2006.
  4. 4.0 4.1 American Optometric Association.Optometric Clinical Practice Guideline: Care of the patient with presbyopia. 1998.
  5. Kazuo Tsubota, Brian S. Boxer Wacher, Dimitri T. Azar, and Douglas D. Koch, editors, , Hyperopia and Presbyopia, New York: Marcel Decker, 2003