Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a common vision condition. The hyperopia medical definition explains that it is a vision condition in which people can see distant objects clearly, but struggle to focus on close up objects. It is also sometimes referred to as hypermetropia, but the hyperopia definition remains true under that name as well.

Symptoms

  • Eye strain or fatigue while working on projects that require focusing close up, such as computer work and reading
  • Headaches
  • Inability to focus on nearby objects as sharply as far away objects
  • Blurry vision when focusing on nearby objects
  • Squinting when focusing on nearby objects

What causes hyperopia?

Hyperopia is caused by a refractive error within the eye. Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eyeball does not allow light to pass through and be refracted, or bent, properly. Refractive errors are quite common and include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In the case of hyperopia, the eyeball is shorter than it should be, resulting in a refractive error that makes focusing on close up objects difficult.

Hyperopia treatment options

The condition is easily treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. A proper eyeglass prescription can correct this vision condition. Eyeglasses may need to be worn only when doing close up work, or may need to be worn at all times depending on the severity of the farsightedness. Contact lenses are another good option to correct vision. If you do not want to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, refractive surgery can correct hyperopia as well. LASIK is a commonly performed laser eye surgery that can correct this vision condition. The surgery itself and the recovery period afterwards are extremely quick. It is important to discuss your options with your eye care professional and decide together what is best for you and your eyes.

Hyperopia vs. presbyopia

Although hyperopia and presbyopia have similar symptoms, they are very different eye conditions. Both conditions share the symptoms of headaches, eye strain, and the inability to focus on close up objects. The differences lie in their causes and their onset.

Hyperopia, while often becoming more pronounced with age, is not a vision disorder that is directly correlated with age. Presbyopia, on the other hand, is strictly an age related vision disorder. The eye’s lens thickens with age, creating difficulty focusing on nearby objects. In the case of hyperopia, the lens is not thickened, the eye is simply shorter than it should be to properly refract light.

Differentiating presbyopia vs. hyperopia can be difficult at times, due to the similarity of their symptoms. Your eye doctor will be able to properly diagnose both presbyopia and hyperopia. If you suspect that you may suffer from either, it is important to see your eye doctor.