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Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

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Also known as farsightedness, hyperopia is a vision error that may cause distant objects to appear more clearly than objects that are near. However, hyperopia can be experienced differently depending on the person. For example, a severe case of hyperopia can cause both distance and near objects to be blurry.

Causes of Hyperopia

Hyperopia is developed when the eye focuses images behind the retina opposed to on the retina. This can result in blurred vision. When the eyeball is too short, incoming light is prevented from focusing directly on the retina, causing hyperopia. Abnormal shape of the cornea or lens is another possible cause.

Who is at Risk?

Both children and adults are at risk of hyperopia. People whose parents have developed hyperopia are more likely to develop the condition themselves.

Signs & Symptoms of Hyperopia

Like most medical conditions, the signs and symptoms of hyperopia vary from person to person. Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting
  • Blurry vision

Diagnosing Hyperopia

Hyperopia, as well as other vision errors, can be diagnosed by an optometrist during a comprehensive eye examination.

Treating Hyperopia

There are multiple treatments for patients who have developed hyperopia. These treatments range from non-invasive/passive options, such as eyeglasses, or more invasive but permanent solutions, such as laser refractive surgery.


One of the simplest and safest ways to correct hyperopia. Prescribed lenses from your optometrist will help correct hyperopia and allow you to see your best.

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses provide the user with clearer vision, a wider field of vision, and great comfort. When light rays enter your eye, the contact lenses become the first refractive surface. This allows a more precise refraction (focus). However, contact lenses are not the right treatment for everyone.
Learn more about whether or not you are a good candidate for contact lenses by scheduling a contact lens fitting exam.

Refractive Surgery (Laser Eye Surgery)

The goal of refractive surgery is to permanently change the shape of the cornea which will result in an improvement of vision. The surgery aims to decrease or eliminate dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Many types of refractive surgeries and surgical options are available to patients, however, patients should discuss which option is best for them with their optometrist.

How Will Hyperopia Affect my Lifestyle?

Depending on the treatment prescribed, hyperopia will affect your lifestyle differently. If the optometrist prescribes glasses or contact lenses, it may take a few days to adjust to them. However, farsightedness will most likely not affect your lifestyle significantly.

Written by Dr. Kent Prete

An active member of the Canadian Association of Optometrists, the Alberta Association of Optometrists, and the Alberta College of Optometrists, Dr. Prete lives his passion every day when he sees his patients. Dr. Prete has spoken at over 100 professional events over the last almost 20 years. A keen educator and confident doctor, Dr. Prete is nearly as passionate about educating other eye care professionals as he is about caring for and educating his patients!
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