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.