Like nearsightedness, hyperopia – or farsightedness – is a result of an irregularly shaped eye structure. Those who are farsighted typically have no trouble seeing objects located at a distance, but find that things closer to their line of sight appear blurry. Problematically, this makes it hard to perform essential daily activities, such as reading and answering text messages. Hyperopia is usually caused by one of two factors – either the cornea is too flat or the eyeball is too short, resulting in light rays that travel beyond the retina rather than directly onto it.
Farsightedness usually develops in adults over 40 years old and is often a natural part of the aging process, although inherited hyperopia has also been found in babies and small children. Many times, the condition is underdiagnosed because farsightedness can go undetected in routine eye exams. In younger people, the eye lenses typically have a flexibility in focus and are able to adapt and adjust according to an object’s location. However, as individuals approach age 40, this accommodation decreases and the ability to see close objects diminishes – this can also be classified as a condition called presbyopia.
Fortunately, hyperopia can typically be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. Some individuals even find they only require corrective lenses during certain activities, such as driving or reading. However, hyperopia may also worsen to the point where both close and distant objects eventually appear blurry. Furthermore, excessive eye strain caused by blurry vision can lead to eye aches, eye fatigue, and headaches.
Treatments for Hyperopia
The top ophthalmologists at Eye Doctors of Washington understand that every person afflicted with hyperopia has individual needs specific to them. Our doctors work hard to personalize a treatment plan that best serves each patient’s respective goals. A number of vision correction procedures can treat farsightedness, including the following.
LASIK surgery is one of the most advanced, widely-utilized vision correction procedures in the world. With all-laser technology that allows unmatched precision and control in reshaping the cornea and correcting refractive errors, patients can enjoy a sizeable decrease in reliance on glasses and contact lenses after treatment.
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
PRK can be an excellent alternative to LASIK surgery for individuals whose cornea structure or lifestyle may make it a more fitting option. Also utilizing state-of-the-art laser technology, PRK can reshape the cornea and correct common refractive errors for minimized dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Patients whose corneas are too thin or contain scar tissue generally find more success in PRK. Namely, PRK has been known to benefit athletes and military members because it does not require a corneal flap to correct refractive errors. Corneal flaps are created during LASIK surgery and, if those exposed to active physical contact hurt their eyes after the procedure, the corneal flap can become damaged or infected. This possibility may make PRK a more suitable option for patients more prone to injury.
Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)
For individuals seeking an option outside of laser technology, implantable collamer lenses can be highly effective in improving vision problems and decreasing reliance on corrective lenses. Advanced intraocular lenses are placed within the eye to work with its natural focusing system for a superior quality of clear vision. The lenses can remain in the eye permanently, but they also have the option of being removed or updated to accommodate changes in vision.
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
The refractive lens exchange procedure improves vision and addresses refractive errors by replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens. RLE can be an excellent alternative to laser surgery procedures and an ideal option for patients with particularly severe cases of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. In undergoing this procedure, you can also eliminate the possibility of ever developing cataracts or needing cataract surgery.
Knowing which procedure would best suit your needs can be confusing, but the experienced ophthalmologists and surgeons at Eye Doctors of Washington can work with you to determine which procedure would most benefit you.
To learn more about hyperopia and the various ways we can help you improve your vision, contact our experienced eye surgeons today.