Hyperopia: What is it, its symptoms, why does it occur and how is it cured?
Hyperopia is a vision disorder in which your eyes focus less on near objects than on distant objects.
What is hyperopia?
Although hyperopia is known as a near vision problem, those with hyperopia cannot see far away very well, especially after a certain age. Therefore, hyperopia is not just a near vision problem. However, compared to distance vision, they see less near.
To fully understand the condition of hyperopia, it is first necessary to understand how the normal eye works. The cornea and lens are largely responsible for focusing the eye. The cornea is the transparent and frontmost surface of the eye. The lens has a structure that changes shape as it focuses on objects inside the eye. Cornea and lens have functions such as refracting incoming light and work together. Then they focus the light on the retina called the retina. The retina is behind the eyeball. It receives visual information and sends it to the optic nerve, which carries the information to the brain. Thanks to the perfectly shaped lens and cornea, a perfectly focused image is provided. However, if the shape of the cornea is different, the eye cannot focus correctly.
There are varying degrees of hyperopia, depending on the eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. If you can’t see nearby objects well or if you experience headaches with close reading, you may be hyperopic.
What Causes Hyperopia?
When your eyes focus on light rays, they send the image of what you’re looking at to your brain. When you are hyperopic, light rays cannot focus as they should. The reason why you have blurred vision is that the front-back axis of your eye is shorter than normal or the focusing power is weakened. In this case, the image moves to the wrong place behind the retina. In this case, difficulties arise especially in close focusing.
What are the symptoms of hyperopia?
Signs that you are hyperopia can be listed as follows:
- Inability to focus on nearby objects
- Pain in the head area
- blurred vision
- tired eyes
- Fatigue or headache after reading something
If you have these symptoms even though you wear glasses or contact lenses, you may need a new prescription or treatment. It is definitely recommended that you consult your doctor.
How to Diagnose Hyperopia?
All it takes to diagnose hyperopia is to have a basic eye exam. Your doctor will put a chart in front of you and have you read it. Additionally, during the examination, a device called a retinoscope can be used to check how the light reflects from your retina. Or today, devices called autorefractometers are used that make these measurements automatically. For glasses or lenses, a phoropter or trial glasses, which is a testing device, can also be used to decide on the best prescription.
Adult eye exams
Adults who do not have vision problems should start having regular eye examinations starting from the age of 40. It is recommended that you have an eye exam every 2 to 4 years between the ages of 40 and 54, every 1 to 3 years between the ages of 55 and 64, and every 1 to 2 years if you are over 65.
If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family member with eye disease, it is important that you do not wait until the age of 40 to have an eye examination and start regular eye examinations.
Children’s eye examinations
Examination of babies should be done immediately after birth. Because one of the most important causes of lazy vision that may occur in children is uncorrected hyperopia. The risk of amblyopia is especially high in hyperopic children with a difference of 2 degrees or more between the two eyes. The frequency of examination is recommended by the physician according to the findings of the children in the first examination. According to the findings obtained in each examination, it is decided when the next examination should be.
How is hyperopia treated?
The goal of treating hyperopia is to help light focus correctly on the retina. Individuals with hyperopia may need the following for clear near vision:
- contact lens
- Refractive surgery (laser surgeries)
Treatment is not always necessary in young individuals. Because the crystal lenses inside the eyes are flexible enough to save the situation. Depending on your degree of hyperopia, you may need prescription lenses to improve your near vision. This is especially the case as you get older and the lenses inside your eyes become less flexible.
Wearing prescription lenses treats the reduced curvature of your cornea by correcting it. Types of prescription lenses are glasses and contact lenses. Glasses are an easy and reliable way to sharpen the distorted vision caused by hyperopia. Contact lenses are fitted snugly to your eyes. They are available in a variety of materials and designs, including soft or hard, gas permeable, along with spherical, multifocal and monovision designs.
These applications can be applied to myopia and astigmatism, as well as to certain degrees of hyperopia, if their corneal structure is suitable. In this surgical treatment, the curvature of the cornea is reshaped and hyperopia is corrected.
Refractive surgery methods are as follows:
- Laser-assisted in-situ corneal shaping (LASIK): With this procedure, the eye surgeon creates a thin, hinged flap on the cornea. It then uses a laser to adjust the curves of the cornea, correcting the hyperopia. The recovery process is generally faster with LASIK surgery. There is less discomfort compared to other corneal-related surgeries.
- Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK): The surgeon makes changes in the epithelial layer, which is the outer protective layer of the cornea. It uses a laser to reshape the outer layers of the cornea and change its curve.
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK): The only difference from LASEK is that the surgeon completely removes the epithelial layer. He then uses the laser to reshape the cornea. The epithelium is not replaced, but naturally regenerates to fit the new shape of your cornea.
- There is also the SMILE method, but this method cannot be applied to hyperopia yet.
What are the symptoms of hyperopia?
It is not bad for hyperopic people to see far away, especially at a young age. However, we can list them as headache, fatigue, lack of concentration, concentration problems when working closely, getting tired easily while reading, excessive fatigue after work if doing a job related to near vision, and blurred vision and lazy vision in children.
How to Prevent Hyperopia?
Hyperopia isn’t something you can prevent, but there are things you can do to protect your eyes. You should have regular eye exams to catch problems early.
- If you have chronic diseases that may affect your vision, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, see your doctor regularly.
- If you have eye problems (glaucoma), follow your doctor’s instructions by following your treatment plan.
- If your vision changes or if you have eye pain, discharge, or red eyes, see your doctor.
- Pay attention to good lighting. Use the light correctly to see better. Prevent eye fatigue and protect your close-up vision with good lighting in your home or office. Take short breaks throughout the day to rest your eyes. Don’t forget to look 20 meters away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes, which is an eye resting technique. Resting is important, especially after activities such as reading or staring at a computer for long periods of time.
- If you notice sudden vision changes, flashes of light, or vision loss, notify your eye doctor immediately.
- Don’t forget to protect your eyes from the sun. Don’t forget to use sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
- Take precautions against eye injuries. Be sure to wear protective eyewear when exercising, mowing the lawn, painting, or being exposed to toxic fumes.
- Eat healthy foods. Try to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, other vegetables and fruits. Research indicates that including fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna and salmon, in your diet greatly benefits your eye health.
- Do not smoke. Smoking is not good for the rest of your body and is also a threat to your eye health.
Whether or not you have pain in your eyes, if you experience symptoms such as sudden inability to see, hazy and blurry vision, double vision or black dots, be sure to see your doctor and have an eye examination. Don’t neglect your eye health.