Apart from being a vision problem, farsightedness can result in eyestrain.
If you are farsighted, your eyes have trouble seeing objects up close and need to work harder to do so. This effort causes eye strain. Sometimes, your symptoms will be a result of the farsightedness and the eye strain that farsightedness induces.
Farsightedness symptoms include:
Farsightedness (the medical term is hyperopia) happens when your eyeball is slightly shorter than usual, or your cornea is flatter than required for clear vision.
Farsighted people can see things that are far away (e.g. people’s faces in the distance), but find things that are close-up blurry (like the text on your mobile’s screen).
Nearsightedness (the medical term is myopia), in contrast, means that light focuses behind the retina, and close objects can appear blurry.
In younger people, many farsighted eyes can self-focus by utilising the ‘zoom’ intended for reading to compensate for the blurring. As the eye ages, however, this ‘zoom’ gets weaker, so near vision becomes blurred.
Later in life, distance vision becomes blurred as well. That means that farsighted people often require reading glasses before their 40s, and then require both reading and distance glasses (or bifocals) from their 40s or 50s and onwards.
As with nearsightedness, laser eye surgery can correct farsightedness by changing the shape of the cornea. When we reshape the cornea, we can match the cornea’s focusing power to the length of the eye. The image above illustrates where the light focuses in normal vision and in a farsighted eye.
If you have a flat cornea you will be farsighted. If your eyeball is shorter than average, you will be farsighted. Both conditions cause light to focus beyond your retina instead of on your retina.
Farsightedness can be hereditary, so you’re more likely to be farsighted if your parents were farsighted.
Despite it being obvious they need glasses or contact lenses, many people don’t know whether they are farsighted or nearsighted.
An eye doctor or eye surgeon can conduct an eye examination to determine if you’re farsighted.
First, the eye doctor or surgeon will check as you read letters on an eye chart simulating different distances.
Then the eye doctor or surgeon will ask you to look through a variety of lenses to correct your vision, progressively making close objects appear more clearly.
Laser eye surgery for farsightedness is in its second generation. Depending on factors like corneal thickness, the severity of prescription and lifestyle, eye surgeons typically recommend either LASIK or PRK :
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