Hyperopia results in difficulty focusing. It is caused by the eye being too short and/or the cornea being too flat.
Hyperopia is when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is too flat. When rays of light from an object penetrate the eye via the cornea, this causes them to converge to form a focused image behind the retina, resulting in the image appearing blurred. Most patients with hyperopia struggle to focus on close-up objects. However, in the case of severe hyperopia they may struggle to focus on both close-up and far-away objects.
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Symptoms and treatment
A hyperopic eye requires extra focussing power, especially close-up. This focussing power, also referred to as ‘accommodation’, puts a lot of strain on the eye and results in visual fatigue that can be recognised by the following symptoms: headaches after reading and other tasks involving focusing on close-up objects, and a painful or even burning sensation in the eye.
After the preliminary examination, patients have three options for correcting their hyperopia: glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. Surgery is only available to individuals over the age of 20 whose eyesight has remained stable for at least 2 years.
Proven, safe and painless, refractive surgery improves patients’ quality of life and offers an alternative to glasses and contact lenses.
A thorough preliminary examination is first carried out in order to direct the potential patient towards the best treatment. Then, laser surgery is performed to remodel the cornea to make it more curved, thereby refocusing the image on the retina.
When laser surgery is not possible, an intraocular implant is used instead, which also allows images to be focused on the retina.
Your questions about hyperopia
Is hyperopia progressive?
No, it is not progressive. It only becomes a problem later on, when the eye starts struggling to focus. Often, it is only when they begin suffering from presbyopia that people notice they are also hyperopic. It should be noted that a person with severe hyperopia will also notice an impairment of their distance vision.
Is there surgery available to correct hyperopia?
Yes, there is. Laser surgery to correct hyperopia involves reshaping the cornea to make it more curved, so that the image of an object forms on the retina itself (focal point). The most frequently used technique for operating on hyperopia is femto-LASIK..
Is hyperopia hereditary?
Like myopia, hyperopia has a hereditary factor. However, it may also be linked to other diseases that will have to be investigated.
Myopia is the most common refractive issue.
It is caused by the eye being too long and/or the cornea being too curved.
It results in distance vision becoming blurry.
Astigmatism is an error in the curve of the cornea. Instead of being spherical, the cornea is oval instead.
People with astigmatism have poor distance and near vision.
Presbyopia is a common visual defect in individuals aged over 40.
This vision problem becomes evident as the eye ages.
It results in a progressive deterioration of near vision with age.