What is long-sightedness?
In a perfect eye, to see things clearly beyond the distance of a small-sized room, the eyes’ focusing muscles need to be completely relaxed.
This means that all focusing ability is saved for seeing close objects clearly. If you’re long-sighted, the focusing muscles aren’t relaxed, even for far away objects, which means they have to work harder in order to see closer objects clearly.
Symptoms of long-sightedness
People with hyperopia will find that they can see objects in the distance clearly, but things up close are out of focus, or look quite fuzzy.
Long-sightedness makes doing things close up difficult and more tiring for the eyes, as they’re having to work very hard to see. Often this becomes too much of a strain and reading or using your phone becomes out of focus. You may find yourself squinting or holding things further away at arm’s length to try and see clearly.
Long-sightedness happens when the light coming into the eye is not able to focus properly at the back of the eye. This can be caused by:
- The eye ball being too short
- The cornea being too flat
- The lens inside the eye being unable focus properly
It’s not always clear what causes these problems and quite often long-sightedness can be inherited from your parents.
Long-sightedness that is related to age is called presbyopia
Treatment options for long-sightedness
Long-sightedness can usually be corrected easily by wearing prescription glasses. This is probably the most common way to treat hyperopia and your glasses lens prescription will have a plus lens power, e.g. +2.50D. As long-sightedness can increase with age, the strength or the prescription of your glasses may need to be increased as you get older.
It can also be corrected by wearing contact lenses, which may be a better option if glasses would get in the way of your lifestyle. People with hyperopia usually wear contact lenses which are 'plus' or convex in shape to achieve normal vision. Your optician will be able to advise you on the most suitable type of contact lens for you.
Laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery might be an option for certain people to correct their long-sightedness.
We’d suggest discussing this with your optometrist during your next eye exam. Although we don’t offer this treatment at Specsavers, we’ve put together some helpful tips and advice about whether laser eye surgery is the right choice for you.
Diagnosis of hyperopia
Long-sightedness can be detected during a routine eye test. We recommend you have one every two years to check the health of your eyes, as well as how well you can see. But if you ever have any concernsabout your vision, you can have an eye test at any point.