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What is hypermetropia (long-sightedness)? Causes & treatment

Hypermetropia (long-sightedness) is a common eye condition where nearby objects appear blurred, but your vision is clearer when looking at things further away.

If you feel your eyes are often tired and you have problems focusing on objects close to your eyes, you may have hypermetropia.

Causes

Your eye is like a camera. It focuses light on the back of your eye (on a place called the retina), which provides you with clear vision. Long-sight is caused by light not being correctly focused, with light travelling behind the retina.

  • One cause may be that your eyeballs are shorter than usual. This means that the retina is closer to the pupil, causing light to travel past the retina. A normal eye is usually around 23mm in length, so an eye that is hypermetropic will be shorter than 23mm.
  • Alternatively you can also have hypermetropia if your cornea is flat. The cornea should be curved to direct light onto the retina.

Both of these factors cause long-sightedness, as they cause light to travel past the retina. This results in blurry vision, and can affect your daily life.

Hypermetropia in children. Hypermetropia is usually genetic. Babies and young children may suffer from hypermetropia, but this should eventually correct itself. This happens as the eyeballs lengthen as they grow. However, a lazy eye may develop as a result. This is because the eye with the weakest vision is ignored by the brain, and does not learn the correct way to see. If this is not corrected in young children, there is a risk that the weaker eye will never see as well as the other eye.

Child eye

Treatments for hypermetropia

If you think you may be longsighted, let your optician know. They will be able to diagnose this in an eye examination and provide you with a prescription if you need one.

If you have been diagnosed with hypermetropia by an optician, there are three solutions:

Glasses

Black frame glasses

If you have long-sighted vision, it can be corrected by wearing plus powered lenses. This helps focus light entering the eye on the correct area of the retina, making your vision clearer.

Contact Lenses

Contact lens

Contact lenses are another alternative, although you will still need a pair of glasses as backup in case you are unable to wear your lenses . Again, they will be plus powered to refract the light to the retina. The prescription is likely to differ from a glasses prescription. There are different types of contact lenses available, including daily or monthly disposables. Talk to your optician about the best option to suit your lifestyle.

Laser Surgery

Laser eye surgery

Laser surgery provides the opportunity to correct your vision. Although it corrects existing visual impairments, it does not prevent further changes to eyesight afterwards.