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Long-sightedness (HYPEROPIA)

Long-sightedness (HYPEROPIA)

All you need to know about
long-sightedness (HYPEROPIA)

The capacity to see nearby objects is hindered by long-sightedness. Closer objects are frequently out of focus, even though you can see distant objects properly.

It is most common in those over the age of 40, but it can affect people of all ages, including babies and children.

Long-sightedness is referred to as hyperopia or hypermetropia in medical terms.

Symptoms of Long-sightedness

Long-sightedness can have a variety of effects on people. Initially, symptoms may be undetected or minor. Increased difficulty seeing close items may be seen as people get older until even distant objects become blurry.

Some people have problems focusing on objects that are close to them, while others have trouble seeing well at any distance.

If you have long-sightedness, you may be able to see:

  • Nearby items appear blurry and out of focus, whereas distant objects are crisp and clear.
  • To see clearly, you’ll need to squint.
  • After tasks that require focusing on nearby things, such as reading, writing, or computer work, have fatigued or strained eyes
  • Suffer from headaches

Long-sighted children frequently may not have evident vision problems at first. However, if left untreated, it might result in a squint or lazy eye.

What causes Long-sightedness?

Long-sightedness occurs when the retina (the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye) is not properly focused.

This could be due to the following reasons:

  • The eyeball isn’t long enough.
  • The cornea (the clear front layer of the eye) is overly flat.
  • The internal lens of the eye is unable to focus correctly.

It’s not always apparent what causes these issues, but they’re almost never a symptom of something more serious.

Long-sightedness can be inherited through your parents’ DNA, or it can be caused by the lenses in your eyes getting stiffer and less able to focus as you get older.

What are the risks?

Long-sightedness has been linked to a number of issues, including:

  • Crossed Eyes. Crossed eyes can occur in children with long-sightedness. This condition may be treated with specially constructed eyeglasses that correct for part or all of the Long-sightedness.
  • Life quality has deteriorated. You might not be able to perform a task as well as you would like if you have uncorrected long-sightedness. In addition, your poor vision may make it difficult for you to enjoy everyday activities.
  • Eyestrain. Long-sightedness that is not corrected can cause you to squint or strain your eyes to retain focus. This might cause headaches and eyestrain.
  • Impaired safety. If you have an uncorrected vision condition, your safety and the safety of others may be threatened. If you’re driving a car or using heavy machinery, this could be very dangerous.
  • Financial burden. Corrective lenses, eye exams, and medical treatments can be expensive, especially if you have a persistent issue like long-sightedness.


Long-sightedness is caused by images being focused behind the retina, and it is cured by refocusing images onto the retina. This is commonly done with common vision correction techniques, such as:

  • Glasses or contact lenses: the most basic and widely used form of vision correction.
  • Surgery: Surgical treatments for correcting long-sightedness are available, but they are more expensive and carry a higher risk than corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Lenses. These procedures restructure the cornea of the afflicted eye using either laser technology or tiny incisions.

Corrective lenses


Long-sightedness is usually easily and safely rectified by wearing glasses with lenses that have been custom-made for you. For additional information on what your prescription means, see diagnosing long-sightedness.

Wearing lenses that have been custom-made for you will ensure that light is properly focused onto the retina (rear of your eye) and that close things do not appear blurry.

The thickness and weight of the lenses you require will be determined by your level of long-sightedness. Because long-sightedness might worsen as you get older, the strength of your prescription may need to be raised.

If you are under the age of 16 or if you receive Income Support, you may be eligible for assistance with the cost of glasses frames and lenses. To see if you qualify for NHS eyecare, learn more about your options.

You’ll have to pay for your spectacles if you’re not qualified. Depending on the frame you choose, the price can vary greatly. Designer glasses start at roughly £50 and can cost several hundred pounds.

Contact lenses

Contact lenses can be used in the same way as glasses to correct eyesight. Some people prefer contact lenses because they are light and nearly undetectable, but others find them to be more of a problem than glasses.

Some contact lenses are disposable (worn once and discarded at the end of the day), while others may be cleansed and reused.

Your optometrist can recommend the best type of contact lenses for you. If you opt to wear contact lenses, it’s critical to keep them clean in order to avoid eye infections. Learn more about how to keep your contact lenses safe.

Some people are eligible for contact lens vouchers, just as they are for glasses.

You’ll have to pay for your contact lenses if you’re not qualified. Depending on your prescription and the type of lens you select, the pricing may vary. Monthly disposables can cost £5 to £10 per month, whereas daily disposables might cost £30 to £50 per month.

Laser eye surgery

Laser eye surgery involves reshaping your cornea (the clear layer at the front of your eye) with a laser to improve the curvature and focus light into the back of your eye.

Laser in situ keratectomy is the most common method of laser eye surgery for long-sightedness (LASIK).

Local anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eyes before the treatment begins. During the operation, one type of laser creates a thin protective layer in front of the cornea, and then another type of laser reshapes the cornea.

It takes about 30 minutes and is usually done on the same day for both eyes. You’ll be able to go home soon after, and you’ll be able to return to work and drive the next day.

LASIK can only be performed if your cornea is thick enough, your cornea’s curvature isn’t too steep, and your eye’s surface is healthy. Artificial lens implants (see below) are a better option for some people, particularly the elderly.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has more information on laser surgery.


Reading and distance vision can both be improved with LASIK, allowing you to socialise and participate in outdoor activities without the use of glasses or contact lenses.

The majority of patients who have laser surgery are pleased with the outcomes, but glasses may still be required for certain activities after treatment.

Laser surgery results cannot be guaranteed, and there is a possibility of consequences, as with any form of surgery. It’s possible that the treatment will need to be repeated.

Risks and complications

There are various dangers and negative effects associated with laser eye surgery.

Eye discomfort. Laser eye surgery might cause temporary irritation to the protective layer of tears that covers the front of the eye. In the early stages of treatment, many persons have some eye irritation. Lubricant eye drops may be beneficial, but they are rarely needed for more than a few months.

Blurry vision. LASIK recovery takes 3 to 6 months, and many patients notice blur or haze around bright lights in the first several weeks. About one out of every twenty people require additional laser treatment to improve their vision.

Serious complications. There’s also a slight chance of serious complications that could impair your eyesight, like as infection or scarring of the cornea. However, these issues are uncommon, and if they do occur, they can be cured via corneal transplantation.

Before electing to have laser eye surgery, be sure you are aware of all the dangers.

Who can’t have laser surgery?

If you are under the age of 21, laser eye surgery is not recommended. Because your vision may still be developing, this is the case.

Even if you’re over 21, laser eye surgery should only be considered if your glasses or contact lens prescription hasn’t altered considerably in the last two years or more.

If you have any of the following conditions, laser surgery is not for you:

  • If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding – hormones in your body will create minor changes in your vision, making accurate surgery harder.
  • If you have other visual problems, such as dry eyes or cataracts (cloudy patches in the lens of the eye).

Long-sighted people with a prescription of up to 4D (see knowing your prescription) can usually benefit from laser eye surgery, while some people with higher prescriptions can also benefit. Your ophthalmologist can help you with this.

Availability and cost

Because other treatments, such as glasses or contact lenses, allow you to see well enough to complete most everyday activities, laser surgery is not normally available on the NHS. Surgical procedures are usually only available on a private basis.

The cost of a prescription varies depending on the sort of prescription you require, where you live, the clinic you visit, and the equipment used during the operation. However, as a general rule, each eye costs between £600 and £2,500.

Lens implant surgery

Laser eye surgery is not recommended for persons who have cataracts in their early stages, which is becoming more common as they age. For older people, it does not usually result in complete freedom from glasses.

For the correction of long-sightedness, surgery to replace the natural lens inside the eye with a multifocal lens implant is now commonly utilised as an alternative to laser eye surgery.

The refractive lens exchange procedure is similar to cataract surgery. It’s done under local anaesthesia, and you’ll be able to go home shortly afterwards.