Also known as hyperopia, long-sightedness is a common sight problem that affects over 13 percent of people aged between 20 and 25 and over 17 percent of people aged between 40 and 45. Hyperopia affects people’s ability to focus on objects or images that are close to them; this condition often gets worse and becomes more common with age.
What causes long-sightedness?
Hyperopia occurs when the eye ball is too short in comparison to the focus generated by the cornea and lens; this causes the rays of light to travel to the retina at the back of the eye before the rays are curved by the lens and cornea; this means the images are not focused properly and become blurred. Most cases of hyperopia occur as a result of genetics and family history; however, the gene which causes this has not yet been identified. In rare cases, long-sightedness may also be caused by diabetes, tumours, fovea hypoplasia (this condition affects the blood vessels surrounding the retina) and microphthalmia (this is a condition which results from a lack of development of the eye during pregnancy, it is also known as small eye syndrome).
Symptoms of long-sightedness
Long-sightedness is characterised by experiencing blurred vision when trying to see objects or images at a close distance but other symptoms may include:
- Squinting to see things clearly up close
- Pain in and around the eye, especially after reading or using a computer
- Red, watery eyes
- Blinking more than usual
- Feeling that your eyes feel dazed and tired
Most people with hyperopia wear glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision; wearing a convex lens (a lens that bends outwards) makes the light rays fall directly on the retina which enables the eye to focus properly and see the image clearly. As with myopia, glasses are recommended for children. Many adults choose to wear contact lenses because they feel more comfortable and confident wearing them rather than glasses. Some people may also consider laser surgery; this is a long-term solution but it is not suitable for everyone; you will need to have tests and discuss your eye sight with a specialist before having the procedure. Although complications are very rare, the long-term effects of laser surgery are not yet known because the procedure is still relatively new.