Hypermetropia (long-sightedness)

Hypermetropia is when people cannot see clearly close up without glasses or contact lenses.

What is hypermetropia?

Hypermetropia is a common problem with the eyes focusing that can affect your vision at all distances, but especially close-up.

This is because of a focusing problem. Usually, light comes in through the lens and focuses on the retina at the back of the eye. In hypermetropia, the light is focused too far back in the eye, behind the retina, which causes things to look blurred close-up.

Many very young children have mild hypermetropia that gets better by itself as they grow older.

The percentage of people with hypermetropia increases with age.

What causes hypermetropia?

There is no known cause in most people with hypermetropia, but it may run in the family. 

Rarely, hypermetropia can be caused by other conditions:

  • problems in the retina
  • microphthalmia, or very small eye - where your eye(s) did not develop properly during your mother’s pregnancy

Hypermetropia is caused by a focusing problem. Think about it like this - when you watch a movie at the cinema, the film projector has to be focused to get a nice sharp picture on the screen. Light passes through the natural lens of your eye like it passes through the projector’s lens. Light then focuses on the retina at the back of your eye the way it focuses on the cinema screen. 

Imagine if the distance between the projector and the screen was too short: the picture on the screen would blurred. In hypermetropia, the length of your eyeball is too short for the strength of your eye’s lens. Light is focused too far back, behind the retina, and so things look blurred.

What are the symptoms of hypermetropia?

If you have mild hypermetropia as a child, the natural lenses in your eyes are very flexible and will often change focus to compensate. But if you have moderate-severe hypermetropia or are older, you might get problems such as:

  • difficulty seeing things
  • tired eyes
  • problems with reading

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