You’re at the game and you’re excited, but something is a little off. You can see the goal posts across the field with absolute clarity, but the waving hands in your immediate field of vision are a little fuzzy. It’s a strange concept. It even seems to defy the logic of vision impairment altogether. Don’t worry, over 14 million other Americans are experiencing something similar. A simple trip to the eye doctor will help.
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is a common vision problem affecting between 5 and 10 percent of the general population in the United States. It is a common refractive error that causes the distant objects you see to be clearer than the objects close to you.
When light passes through your eye, it is focused by the cornea and lens directly on the retina at the back of the eye. Your retina registers the focused light and presents the image to your brain. But sometimes, irregularities in your eyes cause the light to focus beyond where the retina is positioned. This unfocused light makes objects close to you appear blurry.
The causes of farsightedness
Typically, hyperopic eyes are shorter than normal and the focused light simply extends further beyond the retina in the eye. But when the lenses in your eyes are too thin, or your corneas are abnormally shaped, the light itself can be refracted at a slightly different angle and move the focus point behind your retinas.
Hyperopic eyes are most commonly inherited from family. But don’t blame mom and dad just yet! Your eyes are constantly changing as a result of age and your environment (amount of light exposure, long-term eyestrain, etc.), so you could develop farsightedness even if it doesn’t run in your family.
The symptoms associated with farsightedness
Don’t overlook what’s right in front of your eyes. If you experience these symptoms on a regular basis, it may be time for your next eye exam.
- Trouble focusing on nearby objects
- Blurry vision
- Eye strain
- Fatigue after a close-up task (e.g., reading)
Treating your hyperopia for better vision
Farsightedness can be frustrating, especially since it can affect so many parts of everyday life, but the good news is, treatment is usually very simple. A basic prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses from your eye doctor will change the way light enters your eyes and place the focus point back directly onto your retinas. For a more permanent solution, you can ask your eye doctor if you’re a candidate for Lasik refractive surgery.
If you’re uncertain about your vision or think you may be experiencing a refractive error like hyperopia, then use your VSP Individual Vision Plan to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor today. If you don’t have vision insurance, find out how VSP can help you save on your next eye exam or pair of glasses.