• Farsightedness: Causes of Hyperopia

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    Written By: Kierstan Boyd
    Reviewed By: Denise Satterfield MD
    Mar. 10, 2014

    In order for our eyes to be able to see, light rays must be bent or refracted by the tear film, the cornea and the lens so they can focus on the retina, the layer of light-sensitive cells lining the back of the eye. The retina receives the picture formed by these light rays and sends the image to the brain through the optic nerve, which is actually a part of the brain.

    Hyperopia occurs when the eye is shorter than normal or has a cornea (clear front window of the eye) that is too flat. As a result, light rays focus beyond the retina instead of on it. Generally, this allows you to see distant objects somewhat clearly but near objects will appear more blurred.

    Normal eye
    In hyperopia, the eye is too
    short. Close objects appear
    blurry because images focus
    beyond the retina.

    Like myopia or nearsightedness, farsightedness is usually inherited. Most children are farsighted, yet they do not experience blurry vision. With focusing (accommodation), children's eyes are able to bend the light rays and place them directly on the retina. As long as the farsightedness is not too severe, hyperopic children will have clear vision for seeing objects at a distance and up close. As the eye grows and becomes longer, hyperopia lessens.