Hyperopia is a refractive error of the eye and is similar in nature to other refractive errors (such as myopia and astigmatism). It is characterized by its namesake: people with hyperopia can see distant objects clearly but struggle focusing on objects that are up close.
Farsightedness is common, with approximately 25% of Americans having hyperopia of various degrees of severity.
Eye conditions that are a result of refractive errors change the way the light hits the retina. Where myopia is a result of light reaching focus in front of the retina, hyperopia is a result of light focusing “behind” the retina (as opposed to directly on it). People with farsightedness have shorter eyes than people with normal eyes.
Many kids are born with hyperopia but outgrow it as their eyes mature.
Squinting and straining to read are common indicators of farsightedness. Many people don’t notice the initial signs of farsightedness because they often develop gradually.
Hyperopia is best managed via corrective lenses. Corrective lenses compensate for the refractive error, ensuring the light focuses properly on the retina.
Laser refractive surgery is also an effective way to correct hyperopia. In many cases, refractive surgery is a permanent fix for hyperopia.