What does long-sighted mean? | Eye Health - Hypermetropia

What does being long-sighted mean?

Long-sighted means you can see faraway objects clearly but not nearby objects and is an eye condition otherwise known as farsightedness or hypermetropia. Your ability to focus is affected by the extent you are long-sighted. If you have quite a high degree of long-sightedness, you may only see faraway objects clearly. If your longsightedness is mild, you can better see objects that are a bit nearer to your eyes. Notably, long-sightedness can be hereditary. Thus if you have a family history of long-sightedness, you have a higher chance of becoming long-sighted yourself. Long-sightedness is the opposite of short-sightedness (myopia).

What does long-sightedness mean?

 

                      HEALTHY EYE                                           EYE WITH LONG-SIGHTEDNESS

long sighted mean

Comparison of an eye with and without hypermetropia (Source: N Vision Centres)

 

To understand long-sightedness, we need to understand the normal functions of the eyes. Two parts of the eyes focus on images:

  • Cornea: The clear, dome-shaped front surface of your eye.
  • Lens: A clear structure.

Healthy eyes would have the cornea and lens with a smooth curvature to bend or refract incoming light to focus an image distinctly and directly on the retina, at the back of the eye.

However, when the cornea or lens is not smoothly curved, light rays cannot be bent or refracted properly. Long-sightedness happens when your eyeball is shorter than normal or your cornea is curved too little. Therefore, instead of light focusing directly on the retina for clear vision, light is focused behind the retina. Consequently, faraway objects appear clear whereas nearby objects are blurry.

Symptoms of long-sightedness

If you are unsure if you have long-sightedness, watch out for the following signs:

  • Squinting or straining the eyes to focus clearly on objects
  • Nearby objects seem hazy or blurry
  • Headache or eye discomfort after doing tasks like reading, writing, computer work or drawing, for some time

Use the right glasses for long-sighted eye

Your eye doctor may prescribe you glasses to correct your condition.

Additional Problems Linked To Long-sighted

Long-sightedness can be linked to various problems, such as:

  • Crossed eyes. Long-sightedness may lead to you developing crossed eyes. Treat this problem via specially designed eyeglasses that correct for long-sightedness.
  • Compromised quality of life. Untreated long-sightedness leads to a lot of inconveniences and discomfort in everyday life. This is because you would be unable to read, type, or write without much struggle as nearby objects would be blurry.
  • Eye strain as a result of squinting your eyes to ensure focus is a consequence of long-sightedness.
  • Compromised safety. If your long-sightedness is not untreated or corrected, your inability to see nearby objects clearly may compromise your safety and that of others, especially when driving or taking the children out for a walk.

When to see a doctor

Consult your eye care professional when your degree of long-sightedness is interfering with your daily life and you cannot perform an ordinary, everyday task with comfort and ease. Your eye care professional can conduct an eye check up to assess the extent of your long-sightedness and advise you on the subsequent steps to take to correct your vision. Chances are you may need contact lenses or prescription glasses.

References

Mayo Clinic. 2022. Farsightedness – Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/farsightedness/symptoms-causes/syc-20372495> [Accessed 7 March 2022].

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