What is Hyperopia?
Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a condition of the eye which primarily causes near objects to appear blurry. However, farsightedness isn’t as straightforward as nearsightedness, as it can also cause distant objects to appear blurry, if it’s severe enough. In order to understand hyperopia, it’s helpful to know a little bit about the anatomy of the eye and the visual system. When you look at an object, light rays from that object enter your eye through the cornea and other refractive components of the eye, such as the natural crystalline lens, and eventually reach the back of the eye. In a normal sighted eye, one that can see 20/20 in the distance without any spectacle (glasses) or contact lens correction, the light rays from that object will come to a focal point directly on the retina, producing a clear image. In an eye that is farsighted, those same light rays will travel past the retina, which produces a blurry image. This is typically due to the fact that some eyes are anatomically shorter in farsighted eyes when compared to normal or nearsighted eyes, so the light rays have a shorter distance to travel. The different refractive structures in the eye, including the cornea and the natural crystalline lens of the eye, also play a role in farsightedness.
How is Hyperopia Treated?
Hyperopia can be treated in several different ways, using:
1. Spectacles (Eyeglasses): Since the light rays from an object surpass the retina to come to a point beyond the retina, it’s necessary to use a lens that will cause the light rays to converge to come to a point directly on the retina. This is done by using a special convex lens. This lens is thicker in the middle and thinner around the edges. When light passes through a convex lens, the lens refracts or bends the light rays so that they converge when they exit the lens. When the correct power for that convex lens is used, those light rays will first converge and then come to a point of focus directly on the retina to produce a clear image. The power of the lens is determined during a refraction, more commonly referred to by patients as the ‘better-one-or-two test.”
2. Contact Lenses: The only difference between eyeglasses and contact lenses is that the contact lens is placed directly on the cornea. Otherwise, the same principles apply. For farsighted correction, the contact lens will also be a convex lens and will work in the same way to refocus those light rays from an object to a focal point directly on the retina to produce a clear image.
3. Vision Correction Surgery: Although there are many different types of vision correction surgery that can correct nearsightedness, this blog will be limited to the two most popular procedures which Dr. Mandel specializes in: LASIK eye surgery and PRK eye surgery. Both procedures work the same way to correct farsightedness. One of the key differences between LASIK and PRK surgery is that one employs a corneal flap and one doesn’t. Click here to learn more about the differences between LASIK and PRK. We’ve already established that the main cause of farsightedness is that the light rays from an object surpass the retina and come to a point of focus beyond the retina. Although we can’t lengthen the eye, we can lengthen the distance that the light rays from that object need to travel so that they can be brought to a focus at a point directly on the retina. The way that’s accomplished with LASIK and PRK laser vision correction is to gently sculpt the cornea by removing microscopic amounts of tissue in the periphery, which steepens the cornea centrally, so that light rays have more corneal tissue to travel through. The amount of tissue that is removed, as well as the entire treatment, iscustomized for each patient by Dr. Mandel personally.
Are you farsighted? Tired of fumbling around with glasses and contact lenses on a daily basis? Want the freedom to wake up in the morning and just go, never having to think about your vision? Call us today at 888-866-3681 to schedule a free LASIK or PRK consultation with Harvard-trained corneal specialist and micro-surgeon, Dr. Eric Mandel, M.D. Or, click here to book your consultation online.
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