If you are hyperopic or long sighted, you will normally have difficulty seeing things up close like reading or computer use. Generally, distance objects are fine, but this does depend on the patient’s age and the severity of the hyperopia. Some people will find long sightedness very much affects their distance vision as well, especially if they are at an age where they are no longer able to accommodate (natural deterioration in the eye’s ability to focus). People who are hyperopic (long sighted) can suffer from eyestrain and headaches when carrying out prolonged periods of concentrated near vision tasks (reading, computer, tablets) if trying to do these things without the use of correction.
This can also lead to excessive tiredness and a fatigued sensation around the frontal area of the head, and can sometimes affect overall performance, especially at work.
Long-sightedness (hyperopia) occurs when the eyeball is too small. This causes light rays entering through the front of the eye to focus behind the retina, instead of on it. It can also be due to the cornea or lens curving abnormally compared to the length of the eyeball. Most children are born hyperopic but this gradually neutralises as the eyeball grows and lengthens during the ageing process.
Hyperopia affects both children and adults. It affects between 5 and10 percent of the population. You may be a slightly higher risk if one or either of your parents has hyperopia or if it’s in your family.
Generally in adults, there are no real complications of hyperopia. It can, of course, get worse with age, but this can almost always be corrected with the use of glasses or contact lenses, allowing patients to be able to see clearly and function adequately during their day to day tasks.
In children, high levels of long-sightedness (hyperopia) can cause the child to over-focus, which can lead to double vision. This, in turn, can cause a squint (where the eyes become crossed) and trigger as misalignment of the eyes where each eye faces a different direction. This causes difficulty in judging depths and distances which proves to be very problematic during such a critical developmental period of a child’s life. As a method of compensation, the brain can sometimes ignore one eye, causing it to become lazy and weak (amblyopia) by using only the dominant eye for focus and visual function.
Both amblyopia and squint can be treated by making a child wear an eyepatch over their dominant (stronger) eye to force the weaker eye to work, and hopefully make it stronger. The results of patching are still not completely relied upon, because of compliance. Children often don’t enjoy going to school using only their weaker eye and tend to remove the patch whilst away from adult supervision. Glasses can also be prescribed to help balance the vision between the two eyes.
By far the most common and affordable way to correct long-sightedness is by getting glasses or contact lenses. The lenses are convex and they change the way light rays bend into the eyes. Glasses are often the corrective method of choice as they are very useful for those with difficulties at both distance and near vision because they come in bifocals/varifocals.
This allows the patient to be able to see clearly at distance by using the upper portion of the lens and to be able to read by glancing downwards and using the lower portion for near tasks. Depending on the severity of your prescription, you may need to wear your glasses or contacts full-time or only for certain tasks like reading, working on a computer or any other close-up work.
Refractive surgery is an option after the prescription has stabilised, usually by the early 20s.
Implantable Contact Lenses (EVO Visian ICLs) known as phakic IOLs are another surgical option for correcting long-sightedness. This treatment option is ideal for those whose prescription is too high for laser surgery, or whose corneas are too thin. EVO Visian ICLs are surgically placed inside the eye (behind the iris) to help focus light onto the retina. There is no chance of rejection by the body.
Clear Lens Replacement
Clear Lens Replacement is a refractive surgery option for people who are presbyopic (need reading glasses, usually after the age of 45 years), where the crystalline lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial (intraocular) lens that refocuses the light to allow it to focus onto the retina. Normally trifocal lenses are implanted which allows the patient to experience clear vision at distance and near.