Concise Guide to Hyperopia by Our Celina and Plano Optometrists at Lone Star Vision
Hyperopia is the medical term for farsightedness, or the inability to clearly see objects up close. A refractive error resulting from abnormal eye shape, hyperopia indicates eyes shorter in length than normal eye shape with overly flattened retinas. Consequently, incoming light focuses behind the retina instead of directly on the retina, which interferes with optic nerve messages to the brain’s eye center. If you are hyperopic, objects within one or two feet of your visual field will appear distorted and blurry. Moving objects beyond this point makes them clearer and more perceptible because light is better focused on the retina. Hyperopia is usually diagnosed in childhood by our Plano and Celina optometrists who will prescribe eyeglasses to correct farsighted blurriness. In rare cases, hyperopia is not the result of shortened eyeballs but an undiagnosed diabetic disorder or diseases of retinal blood vessels.
Symptoms of Hyperopia
Inability to see without distortion up close is the first sign of possible hyperopia. Other symptoms include eye strain and headaches as the person puts stress on the eyes to see up-close objects. Without corrective lenses, hyperopia typically worsens and may cause amblyopia, binocular dysfunction, strabismus or accommodative dysfunction. Children with untreated hyperopia often have problems with depth perception, which could lead to clumsiness and uncoordinated movements. Young children who cannot verbalize their inability to see clearly could be misdiagnosed with disorders they do not have. This makes regular childhood eye exams with our Celina eye doctors essential for physical and cognitive health supporting academic performance in school.
How is Hyperopia Diagnosed in Our Celina and Plano, TX Optometry Clinics?
In addition to visual tests involving eye charts, our Plano and Celina doctors of optometry will perform a slit-lamp exam to evaluate the iris, conjunctiva and cornea. Slit lamp technology is needed to rule out diseases that may be causing or worsening farsightedness. For example, slit lamp exams can detect cataracts, corneal abnormalities, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, small artery blockages (retinal vessel occlusion), retinal damage (retinitis pigmentosa) and inflammation of the uvea (uveitis). One or more of these diseases could cause hyperopia or other refractive errors not due to the shape of the eye.
Types of hyperopia include:
Simple hyperopia–farsightedness attributed to solely to abnormally shaped eyeballs and refractive error
Functional hyperopia–when congenital or traumatic disease causes paralysis of muscles allowing eye lenses to modify their shape to focus on objects, eye doctors call this functional hyperopia
Pathological hyperopia–abnormalities in the anatomy of the eye, ocular trauma or ocular disease causing farsightedness is pathologial hyperopia
Hyperopia is also categorized according to refractive error degrees:
- Less than +2.00 diopters is “low hyperopia”
- Between +2.25 to +5.00 diopters is “moderate hyperopia”
- Over 5.00 diopters is “high hyyperopia”
People with hyperopia and myopia (near sightedness) are often diagnosed with astigmatism, another refractive error causing blurry vision when incoming light focuses at two, instead of one, focal point. Abnormally shaped corneas or retinas contribute to astigmatism, in contrast to abnormally shaped eyeballs causing farsightedness or nearsightedness.
How Our Eye Doctors Treat Hyperopia for the Plano, Celina, Prosper, and Frisco Areas
Simple hyperopia is corrected by eye doctors prescribing corrective lenses, either eyeglasses or contact lenses. Pathological and functional hyperopia can also be treated with corrective lenses but may require additional procedures to improve vision and eye health.
Other ways to address hyperopia include:
- Photoastigmatic refractive keratotomy (PRK)–a noninvasive procedure for removing small amounts of the cornea’s surface to change how light strikes the retina
- LASIK–a commonly performed eye surgery to modify the cornea’s shape so corrective lenses are not needed to see clearly
- LASEK–similar to PRK and LASIK, LASEK surgery does not involve removing tissue. Instead, LASEK surgeons create a tiny flap of tissue using laser energy that works to improve refractive errors associated with hyperopia