Hyperopia (long-sightedness or farsighted) occurs when the light rays entering the eye form an image behind the retina, rather than directly on its surface; resulting in blurred vision.
Individuals with hyperopia will typically have difficulty seeing close objects (e.g. books, mobile phones, etc.) and clearer vision when looking at objects in the distance ( road signs, television). In higher degrees of hyperopia, distance vision can also be affected. In an attempt to overcome this problem, the focusing muscle within the eye will actively contract to change the shape and increase the focusing power of the lens (as normally occurs when we look at close objects). This response is called accommodation. In younger patients, this increased accommodation may be sufficient to maintain acceptable vision in the distance but may also result in headaches and occasionally double vision. The normal ageing process causes a progressive stiffening of the lens of the eye which reduces the amount of accommodation possible. For this reason hyperopia frequently becomes more problematic in the late 30’s and 40’s with the need for reading glasses occurring earlier than expected.