LONG-SIGHTEDNESS | HYPEROPIA
DIFFICULTY SEEING THINGS CLOSE UP
What is long-sightedness, and can it be fixed?
In hyperopia or long-sightedness, the eye is shorter than normal. The light rays come together at a point behind the retina and are therefore out of focus on the retina. In early life, a long-sighted person can compensate for this by contracting their ciliary muscle and accommodating. This ability wears out in all of us, but hits long-sighted people particularly hard.
Symptoms of long-sightedness
First they find difficulty seeing near objects (reading) and then they find that distant objects are also blurry. At this point long-sighted people depend on glasses for everything.
In this video, James Ball explains long-sightedness (also known as hyperopia).
Causes of long-sightedness
In this video, James Ball explains the causes of long-sightedness (also known as hyperopia).
Treatment of long-sightedness
We can use laser eye surgery (LASIK) to change the shape and curve of the cornea to correct these types of refractive error. In order to strengthen the optics of the eye to correct the long-sightedness we need to make the cornea steeper – thereby increasing its curvature and making it optically more powerful.
For young patients where the cornea is not suitable for treatment, phakic IOL implantation may be a good option. This essentially involves making a contact lens to correct your refractive error and placing it inside your eye, just in front of your natural lens.
For many older long-sighted patients, lens replacement is effective at correcting both the distance vision and providing an increased range of focus. If there is early cataract change in the natural crystalline lens the lens replacement is preferable to LASIK laser eye surgery.
Also, some long-sighted patients have small eyes which become “crowded” by an enlarging natural crystalline lens. Again, these patients benefit from lens replacement. Not only is their refractive error corrected but also the acrylic lens implant is slimmer than the natural lens creating space and allowing fluid to circulate more easily inside the eye. This reduces the risk of developing glaucoma in the future.
Further information about long-sightedness
MORE USEFUL INFORMATION
Read more about laser eye surgery
New refractive surgery guidelines from The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, together with patient information on Laser Vision Correction, Phakic Intraocular Lens Implantation, Refractive Lens Exchange and a Checklist for patients will be published in April 2017. Click here for more information
Take this checklist to your consultation with your refractive surgeon performing the procedure. Discuss each item with your surgeon to help you make the decision that is right for you before having
refractive surgery. Click here for more information
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Laser Vision Correction Patient Information booklet (PDF). Click here for more information
SMILE corrects myopia and astigmatism, or a combination of both refractive errors with only a very small incision at the corneal surface. This high-precision procedure is the latest development in the refractive laser treatments. Includes videos, treatment steps, and questions and answers.
Click here for more information
LASIK treats refractive errors by folding away the top layer of the eye and re-shaping tissue underneath. If a femtosecond laser is used, this type of procedure is called Femto-LASIK. Includes videos, treatment steps and questions and answers. Click here for more information
PRK/LASEK procedures remove a thin cell layer from the top of the eye so the laser can reshape the underlying cornea. This surgery may be an option for those who are not eligible for LASIK or those who look for the most economic option for refractive laser surgery. Includes videos, treatment steps, and questions and answers. Click here for more information
About the author
Mr James Ball | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MA (Cantab) MB BChir FRCOphth CertLRS
I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic, St James’s University Hospital, and Nuffield Hospital. My major interest is in refractive surgery and finding the best treatment suitable for each patient.