Hypermetropia typically affects older people compared to that of myopia and is often first noticed as people reach their mid 30’s. It normally initially affects your near vision but over time your distance vision can also become blurred. Long sighted prescriptions are always plus e.g. +2.00.
In order to see perfectly the light entering your eye must fall precisely onto your retina. If you are long-sighted the light is focussed behind the retina, meaning that the eye is too weak for its size. People assume that long-sightedness describes a condition whereby people are unable to see things close up but have perfect distance vision. Unfortunately, hypermetropia is not quite as simple as this.
Many people who are long sighted can see perfectly well without spectacles. Whether or not your vision is affected is down to 2 factors:
- Age: If you are young then you may well be unaffected by your long-sightedness as the natural lens in your eye is able to refocus (accommodate) the light from behind the retina onto the retina (the lens cannot do this for short-sightedness). Young long-sighted people may complain of frontal or temporal headaches but see clearly. As you get older the lens in your eye begins to lose its ability to refocus this light and therefore things start to become blurred. This initially begins with the loss of near vision but soon extends to distance vision.
- Amount of long-sightedness: If you are very long-sighted (i.e. +4.00ds or more) then you are likely to have to wear glasses from an early age as your distance and near vision will most likely be affected.
Laser Eye Surgery & Hypermetropia:
Laser eye surgery treats hypermetropia by increasing the power of the eye by altering the shape (curvature) of the cornea. For long-sightedness, the laser makes the curve of the eye steeper (more powerful) resulting in light being focussed onto the retina and hence clear vision.
Hypermetropia can be treated using either Lasik eye surgery or Lasek eye surgery although the range for treating long sighted prescriptions is not as high as it is for myopia. If you have high hypermetropia (e.g. over +5.00) then you may well fall beyond the range of laser eye surgery and so clear lens extraction or implantable contact lenses will have to be considered.