Hyperopia is a visual defect. It can be a source of eye strain and, in children, a sign of strabismus. Hyperopia can be corrected with glasses and lenses. What causes farsightedness? How do you know if you are farsighted? Can you be hyperopic and astigmatic? Let's take a look at this vision disorder.

What is farsightedness? 

Hyperopia is a visual defect most often caused by an eye that is "too short". In a farsighted eye, the distance between the cornea at the front of the eye and the retina at the back is insufficient. As a result, when the eye is at rest, the point of sharpness is formed behind the retina instead of exactly on it. The image seen would therefore be blurred if the crystalline lens, the natural lens of the eye, which changes shape to focus, did not make any accommodation effort. In some rare cases, hyperopia is not due to a short eye but to an anomaly in the shape of the cornea or the lens.


Why is it common in children? 

Most children are born with hyperopia because their eyeballs have not completed their growth and are too short. It is a physiological hyperopia that does not necessarily require correction when it is small, but must be corrected if it is larger. 

If the hyperopia is moderate or severe, the child may experience visual fatigue. If the hyperopia is strong and uncorrected, the child will have a tendency to squint (strabismus). It is therefore important to have your child's eyesight checked at an early stage, especially if one of the family members is hyperopic.

Hyperopia in children usually disappears by itself around the age of 10. However, it can happen that it does not disappear or does not disappear completely.


What are the signs of farsightedness? 

Low hyperopia often goes unnoticed, especially in children and young adults. Their eyes naturally compensate for it by accommodation and their vision remains sharp. When it is more severe, this visual defect can cause various symptoms, such as: 

  • Your near vision is either blurred or sharp but you have to strain to read.
  • You suffer from headaches after a job that requires prolonged near vision, such as after a day in front of a computer screen.
  • You experience signs of eye fatigue at the end of the day.
  • You have itchy eyes, a feeling of tightness in your eyes or sensitivity to light.

The reason for this eyestrain is the accommodation effort made by hyperopic eyes. Accommodation is the phenomenon of focusing, allowing the image to be brought back to the retina and seen clearly. The hyperopic person must make a greater effort to accommodate in order to see clearly than a person who is not hyperopic.

Depending on the degree of the defect and especially when close vision is required, this effort is the source of migraines, headaches and can disturb vision.


Can it show up in adulthood? 

Mild to moderate farsightedness may not be a problem and may remain very discreet until your 40s. Many people start to experience its symptoms after the age of 40, at the same time as presbyopia appears. 

This is due to the natural aging of your lens. The lens gradually loses its flexibility over the course of a lifetime and its ability to accommodate becomes less effective. Your previously compensated farsightedness can then be "revealed". Blurred vision at close range, eye fatigue, headaches... For your visual comfort, you then need to wear glasses permanently.


What is your degree of hyperopia? 

To find out your degree of hyperopia, you must decipher the powers prescribed by your ophthalmologist on your glasses prescription.

Hyperopia is characterised by a positive power (preceded by a +). For example: +2.50 dioptres. Your hyperopia is said to be weak or moderate if it is less than +3.00 dioptres, and strong if it is greater than +3.00 dioptres.

You can also be hyperopic and astigmatic, or hyperopic and presbyopic for example. Unfortunately, the visual defects can add up, but fortunately, all of them can be corrected. 


Are there glasses for farsightedness? 

Hyperopia can be detected during a traditional eye examination. If it is a problem, the ophthalmologist can prescribe convergent or convex lenses (positive power lenses) to correct it.

To correct your farsightedness, first choose eyeglasses that are appropriate for your correction, your visual needs and your activities. Do you spend a lot of time on your computer or smartphone? You can opt for Eyezen® lenses by Essilor. Designed for connected life, they relieve your eyes of eye strain, particularly in near vision, and help protect them from harmful blue light1. Varilux lenses are more suitable for presbyopes.

Ask your optician for advice. He or she will be able to take into account your personal characteristics and help you choose the type or design of lens, material, coating and tint that will provide the ideal combination.

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