What Causes Farsightedness?

Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a common vision condition where distant objects can be seen more clearly than close-up objects. This occurs when light entering the eye focuses behind the retina instead of directly on it. Farsightedness is typically caused by one or a combination of the following factors:

  • Eyeball shape: The most common cause of farsightedness is an eyeball that is shorter than normal. In a hyperopic eye, light entering the eye focuses behind the retina because the eyeball does not have the ideal length to bring light into focus directly on the retina.
  • Cornea curvature: In some cases, farsightedness may result from the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye, having a shape that is too flat. This can cause light to be refracted (bent) improperly, leading to the point of focus being behind the retina.
  • Aging: As people age, the crystalline lens inside the eye becomes less flexible. This reduces the eye’s ability to change shape and adjust its focus for close-up objects. Age-related farsightedness, known as presbyopia, typically becomes noticeable around the age of 40.
  • Genetics: Farsightedness can run in families. If your parents or close relatives are farsighted, you may have a higher risk of developing the condition.
  • Systemic disorders and eye diseases: Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and other systemic disorders, can affect the eye’s ability to focus correctly. Additionally, eye diseases like cataracts, which cloud the eye’s lens, can lead to farsightedness.
  • Medications and other factors: Some medications and substances, including certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs, can temporarily affect the eye’s focusing ability and lead to farsightedness. Prolonged exposure to some chemicals or toxins can also contribute to changes in vision.

Farsightedness can vary in severity, with mild cases often not requiring correction. However, in moderate to severe cases, or when it causes discomfort or difficulty with tasks like reading or computer work, corrective measures may be needed. These measures may include eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery (e.g., LASIK) to reshape the cornea or alter the eye’s focusing properties.

If you suspect that you have farsightedness or are experiencing changes in your vision, it’s important to have your eyes examined by an eye care professional. They can determine the degree of farsightedness and recommend the appropriate corrective measures to improve your vision. Regular eye exams are also important to monitor your eye health and detect any other vision issues or eye conditions early on.