Definition of hyperopia:
Hyperopia is the medical term for the more commonly known eye problem: farsightedness. It is an eye problem where you can see far objects clearly but near objects are almost always out of focus. It doesn’t affect normal activities like walking but interferes greatly with reading.
Causes of hyperopia
It is mainly of genetic inheritance.
The eye ball has an optimum diameter for the image to fall exactly on to the retina. If the diameter is too short, so that images focus at a point behind the retina causing hyperopia. Also any decrease in the corneal curvature may cause farsightedness.
Symptoms of hyperopia
It is usually asymptomatic: meaning that the patient does not complain of anything, as he/she are not yet aware of the presence of the problem as farsightedness does not affect their daily activities. Because the lens can accommodate for this refractive error.
The most common complaint of people who suffer from hyperopia, is that they get tired while reading / writing /sewing, because the lens has lost its ability to adjust to this error.
Farsightedness’ symptoms also include:
- Blurred vision, most commonly at night.
- Aching eyes, eyestrain, and headache.
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Affected children may show little interest in reading.
What is hyperopia in children? Is it common? Is it normal? Does it require treatment?
Yes, children may suffer from hyperopia, and yes mild hyperopia is common and normal in children. they may be mildly affected in their early life. It requires no treatment at that point as their eye muscles accommodate to focus properly.
However, severe hyperopia is a serious disease in children, as it means that the eye muscles are becoming weak and cannot focus correctly anymore. This increases the risk of amblyopia which is one of the main causes of vision loss amongst children and young adolescents!
Fortunately for children, their eyes grow by time, lengthens and so hyperopia decreases as they grow up. It is important to visit your pediatrician and ophthalmologist regularly to detect any abnormality in your child’s vision, if the doctor diagnoses your child with hyperopia he/she will prescribe glasses to help improve the vision of your child who has a weak eye and therefore is at risk for amblyopia, or has already developed this serious disease, commonly known as “lazy eye”.
Its importance lies in the fact that it is one of the most common causes of vision loss in children and teenagers.
What is Presbyopia?
Does farsightedness get better or worse after 40?
Farsightedness in the elderly patients aka presbyopia: As we age and turn 40 years old, our eyes can no longer adjust as efficient as before. They start losing their ability to focus on near objects.
This is most commonly known as presbyopia, where you start noticing that your near vision is always blurred, however near you bring the object to your eye. If you decide to ignore it, presbyopia gets worse and then both far and near vision become blurry and out of focus.
When should you Contact an Ophthalmologist?
Since hyperopia is a mild condition, and may or may not affect your daily activities, the person who has hyperopia usually doesn’t feel any need to visit his ophthalmologist.
But regular visits to your doctor is important to maintain your eye health, thus avoiding any serious complications (especially in children).
Diagnosis of farsightedness
What to expect in your eye examinations?
Your eye doctor (ophthalmologist –optometrist) using a simple routine eye exam can diagnose if you are farsighted and the degree of your hyperopia. The visit also includes medical history forms and a simple physical eye examination to detect any underlying disease.
Other eye tests may include:
- a slit lamp exam.
Treatment of hyperopia
What are the treatment options for farsightedness?
1. No treatment:
Yes, farsightedness has usually considered a variation away from the norm, not an actual disease. Thus people with mild hyperopia usually do not require treatment, as their eyes can accommodate properly to this problem and easily overcome it. Especially in children as their eyes can grow normally overcoming the short eyeball diameter problem and their eye muscles also gets stronger allowing better focusing.
2. Eyeglasses and contact lenses
In case your eyes fail to adjust properly to this problem, you probably will need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses whether you are a child or an adult.
They are good options for mild hyperopia, but they only overcome the symptoms and do not actually treat the cause. Corrective contact lenses are not invasive procedures and are totally adjustable if your degree of refractive error changes. They are ideal options for children and young adolescents, as the degree of error tends to change frequently.
3. Surgical options
In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery as a treatment for hyperopia. Surgical procedures aimed at treating the main causes.
It is still highly debatable if surgery is mandatory in treatment of hyperopia, as it is not a disease and most people with farsightedness have otherwise healthy eyes and can go with their daily activities normally.
But what do surgical options include?
Based on your age, your degree of error, your daily activities and many other parameters, your ophthalmologist will decide the best treatment option for your hyperopia.
LASIK assisted refractive surgery is a very common, popular and successful option for treatment of hyperopia. Especially in patients who refuse, or rather not wear glasses or contacts.
The procedure is simple
Your ophthalmologist cuts a thin flap on the corneal surface, then using EXCIMER laser the corneal tissue is reshaped accurately to match the refractive error. the flap is then restored and the surgery is successful.
Advanced technology has allowed the surgeon to map the cornea digitally, reading individualized maps of the corneal tissue to cut precisely. The main advantage of Lasik surgery is its short healing time, high success rate and that the fact that they can correct a very wide range of refractive errors.
It has like any surgery some side effects including dry eyes, glare and halos.it is also not recommended for unstable refractive errors patients like pregnant and nursing women and patients with thin corneal tissue.
2. PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)
It is on the surgical options included in treatment hyperopia, like LASIK its main idea is to use LASER to reshape the cornea but the main difference here is that the surgeon does not create a corneal flap at the beginning of the procedure.
They are a good option for patients with thin corneas, but require a longer healing time.
Like LASEK, this is the latest type of refractive surgery where an epithelial flap is created with a super-fine blade. With this procedure, epithelial cells are much more stable. It is a suitable option for patients with thin corneas and of high degree of hyperopia.
4. Intra-Ocular Lens (IOL)
In cases of severe farsightedness, a surgical procedure is advised to replace the clear lens that can no longer adjust and accommodate with a new implanted one.
Whatever your treatment option, please consider visiting your ophthalmologist regally to detect any problem early enough to prevent it, avoid it, treat it and prevent its complications.
Source wikipedia: Hyperopia