Classification and external resources
ICD-10 H52.0
ICD-9 367.0

Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, longsightedness or hypermetropia, is a defect of vision caused by an imperfection in the eye (often when the eyeball is too short or the lens cannot become round enough), causing difficulty focusing on near objects, and in extreme cases causing a sufferer to be unable to focus on objects at any distance. As an object moves toward the eye, the eye must increase its optical power to keep the image in focus on the retina. If the power of the cornea and lens is insufficient, as in hyperopia, the image will appear blurred.

Hyperopia, and restoring of vision with convex lens.

People with hyperopia can experience blurred vision, asthenopia, accommodative dysfunction, binocular dysfunction, amblyopia, and strabismus.[1]

Hyperopia is often confused with presbyopia,[2][3] another condition that frequently causes blurry near vision.[4] Presbyopes who report good far vision typically experience blurry near vision because of a reduced accommodative amplitude brought about by natural aging changes with the crystalline lens.[4] It is also sometimes referred to as farsightedness, since in otherwise normally-sighted persons it makes it more difficult to focus on near objects than on far objects.[5]

The causes of hyperopia are typically genetic and involve an eye that is too short or a cornea that is too flat, so that images focus at a point behind the retina.


Classification of hyperopia

Hyperopia is typically classified according to clinical appearance, its severity, or how it relates to the eye's accommodative status.[1]

Classification by clinical appearance

  • Simple hyperopia
  • Pathological hyperopia
  • Functional hyperopia


Hyperopia can be caused by sinus infections, injuries, migraines, aging or genetics.


Visual acuity is affected according to the amount of hyperopia, as well as the patient's age, visual demands, and accommodative ability.[1]

In severe cases of hyperopia from birth, the brain has difficulty merging the images that each individual eye sees. This is because the images the brain receives from each eye are always blurred. A child with severe hyperopia has never seen objects in detail and might present with amblyopia or strabismus. If the brain never learns to see objects in detail, then there is a high chance that one eye will become dominant. The result is that the brain will block the impulses of the nondominant eye with resulting amblyopia or strabismus. In contrast, the child with myopia can see objects close to the eye in detail and does learn at an early age to see detail in objects.

The child with hyperopia will typically stand close in front of a television. One would have expected that the child will stand far to see, but because the brain has never learned to see objects in detail and the child with hyperopia from birth presents with the picture of decreased visual perception.

The parents of a child with hyperopia do not always realize that the child has a problem at an early age. A hyperopic child might have problems with catching a ball because of blurred vision and because of a decreased ability to see three-dimensional objects. The child will typically perform below average at school. As soon as a child starts identifying images, a parent might find that the child cannot see small objects or pictures.


Various eye care professionals, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthoptists, and opticians, are involved in the treatment and management of hyperopia. At the conclusion of an eye examination, an eye doctor may provide the patient with an eyeglass prescription for corrective lenses.

Minor amounts of hyperopia are sometimes left uncorrected. However, larger amounts may be corrected with convex lenses in eyeglasses or contact lenses. Convex lenses have a positive dioptric value, which causes the light to focus closer than its normal range.

Hyperopia is sometimes correctable with various refractive surgery procedures (LASIK). It can also be corrected with special convex lenses.

See also


  1. ^ a b c American Optometric Association. Optometric Clinical Practice Guideline: Care of the patient with hyperopia. 1997.
  2. ^ "Eye Health: Presbyopia and Your Eyes." WebMD.com. October, 2005. Accessed September 21, 2006.
  3. ^ Chou B. "Refractive Error and Presbyopia." Refractive Source.com Accessed September 20, 2006.
  4. ^ a b American Optometric Association. Optometric Clinical Practice Guideline: Care of the patient with presbyopia. 1998.
  5. ^ Kazuo Tsubota, Brian S. Boxer Wacher, Dimitri T. Azar, and Douglas D. Koch, editors, , Hyperopia and Presbyopia, New York: Marcel Decker, 2003

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hyperopia — Hy per*o pi*a (h[imac] p[ e]r*[=o] p[i^]*[.a]), n. [NL., fr. Gr. ype r over + w ps, wpo s, the eye.] An abnormal condition of the eye in which, through shortness of the eyeball or fault of the refractive media, the rays of light come to a focus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hyperopia — 1884, Mod.L., from HYPER (Cf. hyper ) + Gk. ops eye (see EYE (Cf. eye)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • hyperopia — [hī΄pər ō′pē ə] n. [ HYPER + OPIA] abnormal vision in which the rays of light are focused behind the retina, so that distant objects are seen more clearly than near ones; farsightedness hyperopic [hī΄pəräp′ik] adj …   English World dictionary

  • hyperopia — hyperopic /huy peuhr op ik, oh pik/, adj. /huy peuhr oh pee euh/, n. Ophthalm. a condition of the eye in which parallel rays are focused behind the retina, distant objects being seen more distinctly than near ones; farsightedness (opposed to… …   Universalium

  • hyperopia — Hypermetropia Hy per*me*tro pi*a, Hypermetropy Hy per*met ro*py, n. [NL. hypermetropia, fr. Gr. ? excessive + ?, ?, the eye. See {Hypermeter}.] An abnormal condition of the eye in which, through shortness of the eyeball or fault of the refractive …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hyperopia — Farsightedness; the ability to see distant objects more clearly than close objects. Hyperopia may be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. * * * Longsightedness; that optical condition in which only convergent rays can be brought to focus on… …   Medical dictionary

  • hyperopia — Ametropia Am e*tro pi*a, n. [Gr. ? irregular + ?, ?, eye.] (Med.) a visual impairment resulting from faulty refraction of light rays in the eye. Subtypes include {myopia} {astigmatism} and {hyperopia}. {Am e*trop ic}, a. [1913 Webster +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hyperopia — noun Etymology: New Latin Date: 1884 a condition in which visual images come to a focus behind the retina of the eye and vision is better for distant than for near objects called also farsightedness • hyperopic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hyperopia — noun A disorder of the vision where the eye focusses images behind the retina instead of on it, so that distant objects can be seen better than near objects. Syn: farsightedness, hypermetropia, hypermetropy …   Wiktionary

  • hyperopia — n. far sightedness, ability to see distant objects more clearly than near ones …   English contemporary dictionary

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