Hyperopia is a common refractive error among Americans. It occurs in about 5% to 10% of the population, according to the National Eye Institute.
You need not be a part of this statistic. Gain clearer vision up close at Focus Eye Care & Surgery. Our board-certified eye doctor in New York, Dr. Neelofar Ghaznawi, is highly trained and experienced in performing refractive surgery. She is a member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.
What causes hyperopia?
In a normal eye, the cornea, or the clear dome-shaped surface of the eyes, bends light rays, which then pass through the pupil, or the opening in the eyes. The crystalline lens just behind the pupil then focuses the light rays to a single point onto the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue lining the back of the eyes.
The electrical impulses are then sent to the brain by way of the optic nerve to create the images we see.
Hyperopia happens when:
- the cornea is too flat.
- the eye, from front to back, is shorter than normal. This structure results in the shortening of distance between the cornea and retina.
Hyperopia can be inherited. When other members of your family are farsighted, you are likely to become farsighted too. In children, it is possible to ‘outgrow’ hyperopia as their eyes become longer over time.
How is hyperopia diagnosed?
The standard eye chart is used to determine if you have normal vision. If the eye doctor suspects you have hyperopia, he or she may perform a comprehensive eye exam using a more specialized diagnostic tool.
The eye specialist may use a handheld retinoscope to accurately diagnose the kind of refractive error you have. They do this by shining a special light inside the eyes and looking at how that light bounces off your retina.
A lens is placed in front of your eyes one at a time until the doctor reaches the right lens power that indicates your eyes’ refractive error.
The more imposing-looking phoropter functions the same way. This device allows eye specialists, along with your answers to their questions, to determine the exact lens shape and curvature that would correct the refractive error in each eye. Even better, the phoropter allows the eye specialist to check muscle coordination in your eyes and how well your eyes work together (binocular vision).
What are the treatment options for hyperopia?
Hyperopia is an error in how your eyes bend the light, not an eye disease. Depending on your lifestyle, refractive errors are typically corrected by glasses or contact lenses. If you want to reduce your dependence on them, another treatment option involves surgery.
Refractive surgery reshapes the cornea and makes it steeper. Personalized lens surgery entails implanting an intraocular lens (IOL) in place where the natural lens used to be. Often, the IOL implanted is multifocal so your eye is able to see both near and distant objects clearly.