hyperopia pathophysiology & correction

Hyperopia Definition

Hyperopia is a vision problem of having difficulty seeing objects that are near and rather see things clearly at a distance. It is also known as farsightedness or long sightedness. It is a result of imperfection in the eye having too short for an eyeball and the lens is not round enough. Focus of hyperopia is behind the retina when the light enters the eye instead of directly to it.

Hyperopia is often associated with blurred vision for older people aged 40 years and above due to the inability of the lens to accommodate light as a result of the ageing process. In younger people and with mild hyperopia, the natural lens has the ability to adjust or accommodate making it possible to see clearly.

hyperopia pathophysiology & correction

Picture : Hyperopia

Hyperopia is classified into three different types according to the severity, ability to accommodate, cause and clinical appearance. The three types are:

Simple Hyperopia

This type of Hyperopia does not require further treatment apart from wearing corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses. It is caused by irregularity in shape of the eye and the position of its lens.

Pathological Hyperopia

The cause of this type of hyperopia is due to abnormality in the anatomy of the eye or that is which beyond the normal variance. The abnormality may be brought by injury to the eye, diseases within the eye and the abnormal development of the eye. It requires further treatment aside from wearing contact lenses. Surgery may be required as well to correct and preserve the condition of the eye.

Functional Hyperopia

Functional hyperopia requires further treatment aside from contact lens. It is due to the paralyzed state of the eye muscles which focus the eye. The muscle of the eye that focuses is malfunctioning.

Latent Hyperopia

Latent hyperopia is part of total hyperopia that does not manifest. It can only be revealed with a procedure known as cycloplegic refraction. The condition becomes apparent when focusing muscle is paralyzed by the action of cycloplegic eyedrops. The refractive error can be corrected by accommodation.

Hyperopia Symptoms

Blurred vision is the main symptom an individual with hyperopia can experience. It is especially apparent when viewing objects at near point. Reading books which require close up focusing may be hard and an individual may find it harder to read lines. Vision is much appreciated when focusing an object at a distance.

There are other symptoms associated with hyperopia and these are:

  1. Eyestrain
  2. Frequent attack of headache
  3. Difficulty reading a newspaper or any reading materials at near distance
  4. Difficulty focusing on near objects
  5. Vision is much better at a farther distance
  6. Blurred vision especially during the night especially for people with higher levels of hyperopia
  7. Difficulty in tracking lines in reading often the tendency is to repeat reading the same line

Children with severe hyperopia will have symptoms such as:

  1. Frequent headache
  2. Strabismus or cross eyed presentation
  3. Often have eye rubbing due to eye itching and blinking
  4. Child lacks interest reading due to short distance focus
  5. Child may have difficulty in reading

Hyperopia Causes

Hyperopia can be attributed to genetic link or may be hereditary in cause. If one or both parents have hyperopia, chances are, their children or one of their children may suffer the same vision problem.

Abnormality in the eye structure causes hyperopia. The error could be either the eye is too short than the normal, cornea not curved enough or the lens is farther back in the eye instead of the normal distance.

Diseases or disorders an individual is currently experiencing may also contribute for hyperopia such as in the case of pathological hyperopia such as eye tumor and retinopathy.

Pathological hyperopia is also caused by injury to the eye such as in an accident where damage to the head may also include direct or indirect blow to the eye.

Age factor is also included to cause hyperopia. A child with hyperopia can outgrow the vision problem due to the ability to accommodate refractive error while in elder people, usually around the age of 40, it tends to become apparent due to the inability to focus as a result of normal aging process.

Hyperopia vs. Presbyopia

Hyperopia is a vision problem characterized for seeing things clearly at a far distance than up close which is due to abnormality or irregularity in shape and size of the eye and lens. Hyperopia also affects children which they can outgrow while it becomes apparent for people with age of years and up.

Presbyopia is also farsightedness or a condition of difficulty in seeing objects up close. This vision problem occurs as a natural course of aging wherein the lens loss it elasticity. The condition is apparent to people with age 40 to 50 years.

Myopia vs. Hyperopia

Myopia is a refractive error where objects are better seen in near distance or up close as opposed to hyperopia where objects are better seen at far distance.

Myopia is a result of greater length in eye than the optical length while hyperopia is due to short eyeball and irregularity in the shape of the lens.

Myopia is nearsightedness while hyperopia is farsightedness.

Hyperopia Diagnosis

Diagnosing hyperopia is done with routine eye exam which usually take about 30 to 60 minutes.

Initial procedure is by taking the medical history of the patient where set of questions related to the condition and may have brought to the condition will be asked by an eye doctor.

Visual acuity test is the primary diagnostic procedure which will measure the hyperopia, visual demands and accommodation ability of the patient.

Phoroptor is an instrument use to test farsightedness. It is use to assess the refractive error and eyeglasses prescription of the patient.

Hyperopia Treatment

Hyperopia may be corrected with the use of prescribed corrective eyeglasses or contact lens. The prescription will be based on the eye examination or visual acuity done.

Refractive procedure such as LASIK can also be done.


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