Long-sightedness – hyperopia2019-08-15T15:50:49+00:00

Long-sightedness – Hyperopia

Blurry vision, especially for close objects leading to headaches, eyestrain, and squinting
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What is long-sightedness?

Long-sightedness is a result of your eye being abnormally short
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Who gets long-sightedness?

Long-sightedness is a common eye problem affecting over 25% of both children and adults1. Older adults (50+) notice their long-sightedness more when they lose accommodation

YOU HAVE BLURRY VISION, ESPECIALLY FOR CLOSE OBJECTS

If you have long-sightedness, your glasses prescription will have a unit of sphere (often noted as S or SPH) that is typically expressed as a positive number (a “plus” sign, or +). This indicates the degree of long-sightedness you have, expressing how much you experience blurry and distorted vision. In general, the further away from zero the number on your prescription, the worse your eyesight and the more vision correction you need.

YOU MIGHT FEEL HEADACHES, EYESTRAIN, AND SQUINTING

Uncorrected, your long-sightedness can be bothersome. Fortunately, glasses and contact lenses can correct long-sightedness. Unfortunately, you may dislike the way your glasses look or feel, and you may be worried about the high risk of contact lens infection after prolonged use.

HOW GLASSES AND CONTACT LENSES CAN IMPACT YOUR DAILY LIFE

In glasses, rain can be a struggle. Your glasses may fog up, get loose and fall down your nose. Needing to constantly clean them is a regular hassle. Falling asleep in them can cause them to break. Not being able to wear sunglasses can be a real bother. When it comes to contact lenses, they can cause dryness, computer vision syndrome, serious eye infections, and grittiness and irritation if you wear them for too long.

GLASSES CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK

You might have heard people say you look better without glasses or even tell you that you should get contact lenses. You might feel they detract from or hide your facial features. They might make your eyes look unnaturally large.

IF GLASSES OR CONTACT LENSES ARE THE ENEMY

Help is at hand! With modern laser eye surgery and lens replacement, we’ve been able to treat all sorts of eye problems, including long-sightedness, for decades. Futhermore, we have excellent results proving its safety and effectiveness.

Vision correction enables you to experience a richer life without spectacles or contacts

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My patients love their lives after vision correction

“Mr Shortt was very patient and kind with me while I had a little bit of a freak out directly before surgery. He quickly put me at ease and reassured me that nothing would be done until I was 100% ok with it. I cannot recommend Mr Shortt and his team highly enough, patient, caring and very professional.”

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“Mr Alex Shortt successfully performed Lens Replacement Surgery on both my eyes on the 13th October 2017. The care that I have received from Alex and his team through out the process has been amazing. Choosing Mr Shortt as my surgeon was one of the best decisions that I have made. I would very highly recommend Mr Shortt. l will always be grateful to Alex for the amazing care and results I’ve received – thank you!”

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Supplementary information about long-sightedness (hyperopia)

In my expert hands, you certainly don’t need to know all of the information I’ve included in the toggles below. If you’d like to know how it all works, however, open them and learn more.

Hyperopia or long-sightedness is an eye condition where the focusing power of the eye is too weak. For that reason, if you have long-sightedness, you need to wear positive power lenses to increase the focusing power of the eye and bring the image of the world into focus on our retina.

Another way of thinking about long-sightedness is that your eye is like a camera where the focus is stuck in the very far distance. This condition means that objects need to be very far away for them to be in focus. Anything closer than the distant horizon is out of focus.

The reason why hyperopic or long-sighted patients have blurred vision is that the focusing power of the eye is not strong enough to bring the world into focus on the retina. Therefore, they experience blurred vision. As they try to look at closer and closer objects, they need more and more focus, but the object just gets more and more blurred.

Eyestrain, squinting and headaches are all familiar and occur because the eye tries to compensate by putting additional strain on the eye’s muscle focusing mechanism.

This excessive strain can give rise to these symptoms. These become even more problematic for long-sighted patients from age 40 onwards when the onset of presbyopia begins.

Long-sightedness occurs because of a combination of genetic factors and a mismatch between the power of the cornea and the length of the eye. Long-sighted patients typically have shorter than average eyes.

Long-sightedness (hyperopia) examination in London

Essential components are

  • refraction (spectacle test)
  • an assessment of the alignment of the eyes to detect squinting.

The next and most critical part of the assessment is a cycloplegic refraction where I relax the focusing muscle of your eye using an eyedrop.

I can then measure the true focusing power of the eye in the absence of the patient’s attempt to compensate. I also perform a full ocular examination, and a dilated fundus examination to check the health of the eye and retina.

Most infants are slightly long-sighted when born. As the eye grows, the degree of long-sightedness reduces so that most infants become normal sighted (or emmetropic) by school age.

Eye growth is a continuous process starting from birth and ceasing in most people between age 18 and 21. You can tell that your eye growth is complete when there is no change in your glasses prescription over a 12 month period.

Once the eye has finished growing the amount of hyperopia is stable the glasses prescription rarely changes after that. In most patients, this occurs after age 18 to 21. It is for this reason that laser eye surgeons do not treat patients under 18 years of age and usually only do so when they are 21 years of age or older.

You can correct long-sightedness using:

  • glasses and contact lenses
  • laser eye surgery
  • implantable contact lenses (ICL).

In older patients, lens replacement or refractive lens exchange and multifocal lens implants may be the treatment of choice, especially after 50 years of age.

Long-sightedness (hyperopia) symptoms and lifestyle impacts
Long-sightedness, short-sightedness, and astigmatism are all types of eye focus problems. These are the reasons why you need to wear glasses to correct the focus of the eye and allow you to see clearly.

Long-sightedness, or hyperopia, is an eye condition where the focusing power of the eye is too weak. For that reason, you need to wear positive power lenses to increase the focusing power of your eye and bring the image of the world into focus on your retina.

Patients with long-sightedness can sometimes see objects in the very far distance but cannot see anything else closer than this.

Some patients with long-sightedness, typically younger ones, can compensate for many years by using the eye’s focusing mechanism to boost the power of the eye. Doing so brings the world into focus but eventually, this ability fades, and it is necessary for them to wear glasses or contact lenses.

Other patients have such high levels of long-sightedness that they cannot compensate and need glasses from a young age. Long-sightedness patients all have inferior close up vision and typically struggle to read or see computers screens without glasses.

Eyestrain, squinting and headaches are common. These become even more problematic for long-sighted patients from age 40 onwards when the onset of presbyopia (age-related near vision loss) begins.

Optometrists and opticians typically identify long-sightedness at one of two different stages of life:

  • in primary school children due to misalignment of the eyes (squint) in the teenage years or because of difficulty reading.
  • in patients 40s and 50s when they lose the ability to compensate and become rapidly dependent on reading glasses at a young age and eventually need distance glasses too.

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Even more information about long-sightedness (hyperopia)

I frequently write articles and publish videos to answer people’s most common questions and keep them updated on the latest developments in vision correction. Find out more below…

Compare long-sightedness with other relevant eye conditions

Eye conditions are frequently misunderstood, so here’s a quick overview of the ones I most commonly treat

ASTIGMATISM

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the shape of your eye’s cornea or lens. Usually, the cornea and lens are round or spherical like a football. In eyes that have astigmatism, the cornea and or lens of the eye are oval in shape like an egg. As a result, light rays focus on a blurred oval shape on the retina rather than as a single sharp image. Learn more about astigmatism

Treatments for astigmatism

SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS

Short-sightedness is also known as Myopia.

Short-sightedness (or myopia) is an eye condition where the focusing power of the eye is too strong. For that reason, if you’re short-sighted, you need to wear negative power lenses to reduce the focusing power of the eye. Doing so brings the image of the world into focus on our retina. Learn more about short-sightedness

Treatments for short-sightedness

DRY EYE

The term “dry eye” covers many different eye conditions where an imbalance in the volume or quality of the tears results in inflammation and damage to the surface of the eye. Patients have varying degrees of dry eye symptoms from occasional discomfort and stinging to severe pain and inability to see. Learn more about dry eye…

PRESBYOPIA

Presbyopia is the eye condition which causes people aged 45 and older to need reading glasses. The ageing of the eye’s natural lens which stiffens and loses its ability to focus causes presbyopia.

Treatments for presbyopia

Presbyopia is the eye condition which causes people aged 45 and older to need reading glasses. The ageing of the eye’s natural lens which stiffens and loses its ability to focus causes presbyopia.

Treatments for presbyopia

CATARACT

Cataract is the term we use to describe the changes that occur when the lens of the eye loses its transparency and changes from appearing like a crystal clear window to appearing like a misted window like frosted glass. Learn more about cataract

Treatments for cataract

KERATOCONUS

Keratoconus is a condition where the cornea, the front window of the eye, becomes thinner, loses its strength and begins to warp out of shape progressively. Learn more about keratoconus

Treatments for keratoconus

RECURRENT CORNEAL EROSION

Recurrent corneal erosion is a painful eye condition where there are episodes of severe pain on waking which resolve over a few days to a week only to reoccur again in the future. Learn more about recurrent corneal erosion

Treatments for recurrent corneal erosion

  • Laser Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK)

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About the author

Mr Alex J. Shortt | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MB BCh MSc PhD FRCOphth PGDipCatRef

I’m Alex Shortt, a highly trained academic researcher and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon based in London’s famous Harley Street medical district. I trained and worked as a consultant for 14 years at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. I specialise in advanced technologies for correcting vision, including stem cell cataract surgery, implantable contact lenses and laser vision correction.

Learn more about me