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Also known as long-sightedness, a person with hyperopia has difficulty seeing close-up objects, while objects in the distance are seen clearly.

What causes hyperopia?

Hyperopia occurs when the eyeball is too short and/or the cornea is too flat.

This distance between the cornea and retina is not long enough, so light rays focus at a point behind the retina rather than on the retina.

This results in blurred vision when trying to focus on close-up objects.

What are the symptoms of hyperopia?

The symptoms of hyperopia include:

  • blurry vision when trying to focus on close-up objects, such as a computer or book
  • fatigue or a burning feeling in the eyes
  • headaches caused by eyestrain during reading and other close-up activities
  • the need to squint or blink excessively to see more clearly.

If you find yourself experiencing the above symptoms and yet can clearly see objects in the distance, then it is likely that you have hyperopia.

How is hyperopia diagnosed?

Hyperopia can be picked up with a regular eye exam involving an eye test with an eye chart. You will be asked to read the chart up close and far away. It can often result in an eye turn or “lazy eye” in young children.

At Hobart Eye Surgeons, we recommend a general eye exam once every 2 years for those over 45 years old.

What are the risk factors of hyperopia?

There are 2 main risk factors that can increase the chance of hyperopia, including:

  • genetics as hyperopia tends to run in the family, though many children grow out of it as the eye lengthens through teenage development
  • age as the probability of developing hyperopia increases as we get older
  • associations with other eye conditions.

How do I prevent the onset of hyperopia?

There is no proven method to prevent hyperopia. The best prevention is to commit to regular eye exams so that hyperopia is caught and treated early.

What are the long-term implications of hyperopia?

There are several long-term implications of hyperopia, including:

  • learning difficulties as without treatment, children may find it difficult to read or write and to maintain focus
  • reduced quality of life as uncorrected hyperopia can mean that you can’t perform daily tasks as well as you’d like to or enjoy activities to the fullest
  • eyestrain and headaches from squinting
  • crossed eyes, especially in children.

What are the treatment options for hyperopia?

There are 3 treatment options available.

LASIK involves creating a paper-thin flap on the cornea, under which the cornea is reshaped before the flap is repositioned. Similar to traditional LASIK, Femto-LASIK uses a second laser to create the thin flap on the cornea, resulting in higher safety and precision. Femto-LASIK is the procedure of choice for most of our patients, and now works well for most of our hypermetropic patients. Other centres may use a microkeratome blade to create the LASIK flap.

Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)

If you are not eligible for laser refractive procedures, some patients are suitable for a hyperopic ICL. These treatments insert an artificial lens, which is so thin, transparent, tiny and soft that it can be folded up and inserted into your eye through a small incision – and all within seconds. Once in place, the artificial lens unfolds into position, and there it stays, without altering any structures of your eye or needing further treatment. This correction is done as day surgery.

Cataract surgery
Cataract surgery removes a clouded lens from your eye, replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL is thin, transparent, tiny and soft, so it can be folded up and inserted into your eye through a small incision. Modern IOL choice can restore excellent distance vision and also help with daily near tasks without the use of additional glasses.

Refractive lensectomy

Sometimes, removal of the natural crystalline lens is possible before clouding, especially when the front of the eye is very shallow. This may be an option if you are not a candidate for any of the above procedures

At Hobart Eye Surgeons, we carefully assess your individual circumstances and severity of hyperopia and will recommend the treatment that best suits you.

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