Common Vision Conditions: Farsightedness
The terms nearsighted and farsighted are often confused but the easiest way to remember which condition you have is that “you are what you can do best without glasses.” If you see better at near without glasses, then you are nearsighted (myopic). Conversely if you see better at a distance without glasses, then you are farsighted (hyperopic). With farsightedness, a person has difficulty and discomfort when reading or doing computer work.
Our eyes have two lenses that help us see. The cornea is the front lens of the eye - the one people place contact lenses on. It has one power and is responsible for our distance vision. We also have a lens inside the eye located right behind the colored part of the eye. This lens can add power to the eye by bending which increases the power of the eye to help us see clearly up close. The more it bends, the more power it creates and the closer you can hold things and still see them.
Ideally the cornea has the perfect power and distance vision is a passive process. However, with farsightedness, it is not strong enough to see in the distance alone, so the cornea asks the lens inside the eye to add power to make up for what it lacks. The lens inside the eye bends the correct amount and adds the power the cornea needs to see things in the distance clearly. This means that a farsighted person’s eyes are already working just to see far away and then they have to work above and beyond that to see things up close. This extra work load is what creates problems for our farsighted patients.
The classic symptoms of farsightedness are headaches and blurry vision when reading, blurred vision in the distance immediately after reading, eye strain, and the avoidance of near work in children.
People noticing these symptoms find great relief with the use of either reading glasses or contact lenses. If you are noticing these symptoms yourself, then make an appointment with your optometrist to find out how much more comfortable your reading vision can be.