Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is the inability to see close objects easily and clearly. Usually, a farsighted person can see objects in the distance with clarity. However, some farsighted individuals over age 40 may experience some blurring in the distance.
Children and young adults with moderate amounts of farsightedness may exert greater effort and focusing capacity to keep close objects in focus . Over time, however, this added effort may result in the development of a number of vision problems including:
- Eye strain
- Periodic blurred vision
- Headaches after close work
- Occasional double vision
- Feelings of fatigue
- Higher Levels of Farsightedness
Higher levels of farsightedness can contribute to the development of crossed-eyes (strabismus) and lazy eye (amblyopia).
20/20 Tests Are Not Made for Farsighted People
The majority of people in the world are farsighted, but most eye screenings in our schools or pediatricians' offices are generally not geared toward this group. A standard eye test may find a very farsighted individual, but it will usually fail to detect moderately farsighted people.
The 20/20 eye chart is basically used to find people who are nearsighted (myopic). Objects seen from the distance of twenty feet will appear blurry to a nearsighted person. Meanwhile, most moderately farsighted people will do well on the 20/20 test -- objects twenty feet away will be seen clearly and easily.
The 20/20 test simply will not identify the subtle visual problems experienced by the person who is moderately farsighted, so it is important to find a vision care professional who is capable of doing the proper testing. A vision care professional needs to routinely examine children from an early age to make sure that they are developing along normal lines.
Visual Problems of Farsighted People
Farsighted people have problems seeing close, so visual problems generally relate to how well they see while doing close work, such as reading, writing, computer work, etc. People with farsightedness frequently have difficulty sustaining close work for long periods of time. When reading, the text may become blurred, or they may frequently lose their place or not remember what it is that they just read.
As mentioned earlier, if a child is moderately farsighted, a standard eye screening done by the school nurse or pediatrician most likely will not detect visual problems. Consequently, difficulties in school may not be recognized as being visually related.
Farsightedness and ADD/ADHD
It is interesting to note that the vast majority of people who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are farsighted. Farsighted people who struggle with seeing up-close and those who are labeled ADD/ADHD have something else in common, too. Both groups tend to avoid close work. Avoidance of reading and desk work are often attributed to poor attention skills, but with the farsighted person the avoidance is directly related to the inability to see close. To avoid the discomfort of close work, a farsighted person may look around the room, fidget, or begin talking with a neighbor.
Treatments for Farsightedness
For eye focusing or eye coordination problems, many times it is possible to help patients with their symptoms with only the use of reading glasses, sometimes also called stress relieving lenses. Other times the lenses are used in conjunction with an Optometric Vision Therapy program. This is determined at the time of the Optometric Vision Therapy Evaluation. Lenses may be low powered convex lenses or sometimes low powered yoked prisms. The lenses may be single vision (same prescription throughout the lens) or in a bifocal form. The bifocal becomes necessary when the optimum prescription for nearpoint performance interferes with distance vision. The bifocal, then, is another tool to use to enhance performance.
Locate a Doctor in your area who is experienced and knowledgeable in diagnosing and treating hyperopia.