Understanding the Causes and Treatment of Farsightedness
If you suffer from hyperopia—known more commonly as farsightedness—you know how it feels to strain to read the small print of an article on your phone or squint to make out the glowing numbers of a digital clock right next to your bed. You likely need to put on a pair of glasses or contacts first thing in the morning in order to see clearly.
If this is you, you are not alone: According to the National Eye Institute, five to ten percent of people in the United States suffer from farsightedness. Farsightedness is essentially the ability to see objects far away while nearby objects appear blurry.
Farsightedness usually begins to develop as early as childhood. Common symptoms include eye strain, blurry vision, squinting, and headaches. The condition is caused by a refractive error and is usually due to an eye that is shorter than normal or a cornea that is a bit too curved. Due to the abnormalities, the light that enters the eye is not focused properly on the retina and cannot produce a sharp and clear image.
Hyperopia vs. Presbyopia
Similar Symptoms, Different Treatments
There is sometimes confusion about whether hyperopia and presbyopia are the same. Both conditions involve an inability to see nearby items clearly, but the causes are very different. Hyperopia, as we noted, is due to a refractive error. Any person of any age can experience hyperopia, and the condition usually begins very early in a person’s life. Presbyopia is experienced only by older adults as the lens of each eye begins to stiffen with age. As the lens loses its elasticity, it becomes more difficult to focus the eye on items up close. This leads to blurry vision.
While the conditions may seem similar, only one—hyperopia—is a refractive error. Because presbyopia has to do with the lens of the eye, it cannot be treated by LASIK. The laser used during a LASIK procedure does not reach the lens of the eye; it is designed only to correct a misshapen cornea. Many people choose LASIK to correct their farsightedness with the understanding that reading glasses may be used later in life when presbyopia naturally develops.
Treat Your Farsightedness
Using LASIK to Correct Hyperopia
Can you imagine the freedom of not being totally dependent on contacts or glasses to see clearly? Take the first step to discovering this freedom and schedule your initial LASIK consultation. Let us help you determine if you are a strong candidate for a laser eye procedure to correct your hyperopia.