Needing glasses or contacts to obtain clear vision is extremely common in the United States. People need correction for different reasons:

  • Myopia - nearsightedness
  • Hyperopia - farsightedness
  • Presbyopia - age related changes to eye
  • Astigmatism – eye is shaped like an egg instead of a ball

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is less common than the others. But fortunately, it is correctable with vision correction procedures such as LASIK or PRK.

Is Farsightedness Common?

Hyperopia causes distant objects to appear more clearly, while close objects appear blurry. Hyperopia is a complex condition that ranges from mild to severe. It’s usually present at birth and often runs in families. In fact, if you suffer from hyperopia, chances are, so does your parent. It can affect people of all ages but is most common in children and adults over 40. According to the Hyperopia - Epidemiology Forecast, there were more than 16 million cases of hyperopia in the United States in 2020. According to the National Eye Institute, it impacts between 5 to 10 percent of Americans. The incidence of hyperopia increases with age, and it is estimated that at least half of all people over the age of 65 display some degree of farsightedness.

The good news is that there are several options for managing or correcting hyperopia, LASIK surgery for farsightedness being one of them.

Symptoms of Farsightedness to Look For

The most common signs of farsightedness are:

  • Fuzzy or blurry vision at normal reading distances
  • Holding reading material further away to make letters clearer
  • Experiencing eyestrain or headaches after close-up work such as writing emails or reading
  • Squinting
  • Needing brighter light when doing close-up work
  • Fatigue
  • Aching or burning eyes

What Causes Farsightedness or Hyperopia?

Farsightedness occurs when your eyeball is too short from front to back or when there are problems with the cornea’s shape, such as being too flat. So, you might be wondering what exactly is happening with your eyes when you have farsightedness or hyperopia. It’s all connected to how the cornea and lens function together. The cornea and lens focus light reflected from objects to help you form an image. The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped surface of the eye. The lens is also a clear structure about the size of a fingernail or a lima bean.

Light first passes through the cornea and then to the pupil, where the iris opens and closes to regulate the amount of light passing through. After passing through the pupil, the light passes through the lens. Both the cornea and lens bend or refract light entering the eye and focus the object image on the retina, which is found on the inside back wall of the eye. With hyperopia, this light is focused behind the retina rather than on it, which makes nearby objects look blurry. This is the opposite of myopia, or nearsightedness, where light is focused in front of the retina and causes distant objects to appear blurred.

Hyperopia should not be confused with presbyopia, which is the loss of elasticity in the lens that worsens with age. Normally, the lens flexes and relaxes which allows focus to change from near to far quickly. Patients with hyperopia typically experience the effects of presbyopia at an earlier age.

Can Farsightedness Be Treated With LASIK Surgery?

The good news is farsightedness, or hyperopia, isn’t something you have to live with. LASIK surgery for farsightedness can be used to correct this condition. At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, our surgeons, Dr. Mozayeni and Dr. Nunnery, have performed thousands of LASIK procedures to correct farsightedness. During LASIK surgery for farsightedness, the eye is positioned under a laser and held open by a sterile speculum. Many patients choose to receive an oral sedative to make the process less stressful. Numbing drops are instilled in the eye. A corneal flap is created, exposing the area that will be ablated, or surgically removed. The patient is asked to look at the target light on the laser, and laser pulses are applied to the periphery of the cornea. The surgeon uses a precise laser to flatten the peripheral cornea to make the central cornea more curved. In turn, this allows light rays to focus directly onto the retina for clear vision. A saline solution helps remove debris and reposition the corneal flap. The flap is then smoothed, and the edges are dried. The total time for treatment is usually less than 30 seconds.

Is LASIK Surgery for Farsightedness Right for You?

A complimentary consultation with one of our expert LASIK surgeons, Dr. Mozayeni or Dr. Nunnery, is a good place to start. During your consultation, the surgeon will have you read letters up close and far away. They will test your peripheral vision to see how well you can see objects off to the sides without moving your eyes. They will check for any problems with your eye muscles by asking you to follow the path of a moving object. A pupil response test will also be conducted to see how your pupils react to light. Then they will measure the pressure in your eyes by performing a tonometry test. Lastly, they will dilate your eyes so your doctor can look for problems with the inner part of your eyes. All these tests are quick and painless.

What’s Next?

If you’re interested in exploring LASIK surgery for farsightedness or any other vision correction procedure at Providence Eye, we’re here to educate you and discuss your concerns. Many of your questions can be answered during your consultation with Dr. Mozayeni or Dr. Nunnery to determine the right option for your vision correction needs, whether that be LASIK surgery for farsightedness, or another option better suited for your unique circumstances. Ultimately, it’s about what’s right for you, your vision and your lifestyle.

Want to find out if LASIK surgery for farsightedness is an option for you?

Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our LASIK surgeons to get started on your journey to see more and live better.