Between myopia or short sightedness and hypermetropia or farsightedness, the latter is less common. However, this does not make it any less important. Farsightedness or long sightedness refers to a refractive error in the eye lens that creates problems focusing on objects nearby. This is because the light entering the eye does not converge on the retina but does so behind the retina.
Long sightedness can be caused by a number of factors. Some of these are:
Structural problems with the eye: Some people are born with structural problems. This is one of the leading causes of long sightedness. These structural conditions include:
1. A cornea that is not steep enough
2. A short eyeball
3. A flattened lense
4. A thicker than normal lense
Age: Long sightedness rarely affects children. This is a condition that becomes noticeable after the age of 40 in most cases. With age the lenses in the eyes become stiffer and do not curve normally. This is known as presbyopia.
Genetics: As with myopia, hypermetropia is also triggered by genetic faults. If someone in your family suffers from this then chances are that you will too. However, the specific genes that transfer this condition from one generation to the next have not been discovered as yet.
Underlying conditions: Long sightedness is also triggered by underlying conditions such as diabetes, under development of a baby's eye during pregnancy (read more about diabetes and pregnancy), orbital tumours and problems with the blood vessels in the retina.
Not being able to read a book clearly is one of the most common symptoms of long sightedness. Some of its other symptoms are:
1. Needing to squint to focus on objects
3. Pain or burning in the eyes
4. Fatigue caused by reading, writing or working on a computer
5. Red and watery eyes
Long sightedness can be correctly diagnosed only with a thorough eye examination. Hence it is essential to schedule one regularly. This becomes more important as a person gets older. If left untreated, it can lead to double vision which in turn can trigger two possible eye problems.
Strabismus: This is a condition where the eyes get misaligned and hence do not work in tandem. People suffering from this condition find their eyes focusing on two independent objects instead of seeing the same thing.
Amblyopia: Double vision can make one eye more dominant than the other. This makes the muscles of one eye degenerate at higher rate than the other making it lazy. This is known as amblyopia.