Farsightedness and Hyperopia: Symptoms and Causes

When you're farsighted, near images appear to be more blurry than those in the distance. If you were sitting outside at a restaurant, for example, the menu would appear blurry but the landscape would be in focus. Severe cases of farsightedness, however, can affect distance vision as well.

Also called hyperopia,   Hyperopia: The medical term for "farsightedness," a refractive error resulting in an inability to see objects at close range. Typically caused by either a cornea with too little curvature or an eyeball that is too short, hyperopia causes light entering the eye to focus improperly on the retina, resulting in blurry close-up vision. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery are treatment options for correcting vision impairment caused by hyperopia.   farsightedness occurs when the cornea   Cornea: The clear, curved surface at the front of the eye through which light enters the eye. Along with the sclera, the cornea provides external protection for the eye.   is too flat or the eye is too short. These conditions prevent the light rays that enter your eyes from bending enough to reach a point of focus on the retina.   Retina: The transmitter located at the back of your eye that sends the images to your brain.   Instead, the images you see focus behind the retina.


When you are farsighted, the images you see focus behind rather than on the retina.

About 11.8 million people in the United States (or roughly 10 percent of the population) have some degree of farsightedness. It occurs far less often than nearsightedness and its prevalence increases with age.

After an eye doctor examines your eyes, he or she will write a prescription that annotates the severity of your condition. Typically, prescriptions for farsightedness include a plus sign before the first number.

Farsightedness and Hyperopia: Treatment Options

The treatment for farsightedness depends on several factors, such as your age, activities, and occupation, but is commonly treated with contact lenses or eye glasses. See Eye Exams for information about how to get a prescription for corrective eyewear and Prevent Vision Problems for tips on strengthening your eyes.

If you’re ready to say goodbye permanently to corrective eyewear, check your surgical options below.

LASIK Vision Correction

While eyeglasses and contact lenses certainly help correct certain vision problems, they are more comparable to bandages and crutches—temporary fixes that help you get by but don’t actually clear up the root of the problem the way surgical procedures can.

LASIK is a surgical procedure and with surgery there are risks. LASIK cannot be reversed once the procedure has been performed. To learn more about refractive eye procedures, go to LASIK Vision Correction or check out the advances happening now in OptiLASIK® Laser Vision Correction.

To determine whether contact lenses or eyeglasses are better for you personally, see Glasses vs Contact Lenses.

Next: Astigmatism