Long-sightedness: how it develops and how it can be corrected
Long-sightedness, like short-sightedness, is an extremely common visual impairment. It is estimated that about one third of all people in the UK are far-sighted. Many, without knowing it, because in contrast to other ametropia there are no obvious symptoms at the beginning.
Which glasses or contact lenses are suitable for far-sighted individuals?
Hyperopia can be corrected with so-called plus glasses with positive dioptre values. These are convex converging lenses with a thicker center and thin edges: they bundle the incoming light and thus compensate for the relatively low refractive power of the eye lens. Like all glasses, they are available in either plastic or mineral glass. For high visual acuity, models with a higher refractive index are available so that the lenses are not too thick. This results in a visually appealing outcome, even when the lenses are combined with light-weight glasses frames.
Alternatively, contact lenses with suitable dioptre values may be used. Both options offer specific advantages. A pair of glasses impresses with its uncomplicated handling. In addition, glasses have developed into fashionable accessories today and are ideal for underlining one's own personality. The benefits of contact lenses are that they are particularly useful for sporting activities: unlike glasses, there is no risk of damage to the visual aid, for example in the event of sudden movements. Many athletes also appreciate the wider field of vision and the possibility of combining the lenses with sports glasses without visual acuity.
Note: learn more about choosing the right lenses in our guide.
What is long-sightedness?
With hyperopia, the refraction of the human lens or cornea is too low and/or the eyeball too short. As a result, even with distant objects, the focal point of the lens lies behind the retina when the eye muscles are relaxed. This effect is even more pronounced with nearby objects. Since the refraction of the eye lens is variable thanks to the ciliary muscle, the eye can compensate for both to a certain extent. Those affected therefore often notice little at first. The problem usually becomes apparent from an age of about 30 to 40 years, as this is when the adaptability of the eye decreases. The result: at first, nearby objects no longer appear sharp, whereas objects further away still appear normal - one becomes "long-sighted". Later, even sharp vision at a distance becomes difficult. This form of ametropia is also called hyperopia, not to be confused with presbyopia
How does long-sightedness occur and when is a correction necessary?
A hyperopia is usually genetic and therefore inherited. It is generally not considered to be a disease. A correction is typically required when the first unpleasant effects become visible. These include eye or headaches and constant blinking when reading or working at a computer.
An important exception are children with a very pronounced long-sightedness or a hyperopia of different intensity in both eyes. Here a correction is definitely necessary, because otherwise secondary problems such as cross-eye strabismus threaten. For this reason, you should always consult an eye specialist if you suspect this.