What is Hyperopia?
Hyperopia is known by its more common name, farsightedness. People who are farsighted are able to see fine at a distance, but have trouble with close up viewing, such as is necessary for reading. These people require reading glasses for close viewing to avoid squinting or experiencing fatigue and headaches when trying to view things up close.
Normal sight works when light enters the eye and focuses directly on the retina. In a person with hyperopia the eyeball is too short, so the light ends up focusing behind the retina, resulting in problems with near viewing.
How Can Hyperopia Be Treated?
At one time, hyperopia was only treatable with corrective lenses such as glasses or contact lenses. However, it's now possible to have surgery to correct hyperopia. The most popular procedure used to correct hyperopia is LASIK surgery.
How does LASIK Surgery Treat Hyperopia?
LASIK surgery works by reshaping the surface of the cornea, enabling it to better focus light. The surgeon cuts a flap into the epithelium, the outer layer of the cornea. Tissue underneath is removed, or ablated with an excimer laser. The goal in farsighted people is to create more of a slope in the cornea, making it easier to focus light on the retina.
Is LASIK Surgery Only Indicated for the Treatment of Hyperopia?
Not at all. LASIK is available to treat myopia (nearsightedness) by flattening the corneal surface. It can treat more complex problems, like astigmatism.
Is LASIK the Best Option for Treatment of Hyperopia?
While patients with hyperopia have reported a great deal of success with the LASIK procedure, it is a surgery and patients should consider it carefully. There are many options for sufferers of hyperopia. 30-day extended wear contact lenses can restore vision without the inconvenience of regular contact lenses or an invasive procedure. Individuals should consult with their eye care professionals to determine whether LASIK is the right option.
What Else is There to Know About Hyperopia and LASIK?
Difficulty with focusing can also be a result of presbyopia, a natural deterioration of the eye’s ability that occurs around age 40. LASIK is not an effective treatment for presbyopia and this condition may require reading glasses, even for patients who have had the LASIK procedure.