Hyperopia or long sightedness refers to an eye condition in which an image is perceived as out of focus due to an eye that is too short. The focal point (the point at which the light rays entering the eye converge) occurs after the retina, causing this visual blur.
The Symptoms of Hyperopia
Hyperopia causes issues during near viewing. People afflicted with this refraction may find distance viewing more comfortable than near viewing. The blur experienced when viewing near targets may cause difficulty concentrating and focusing when reading, and can lead to headaches following close work tasks. In a child this can manifest and cause poor reading ability. The effort being put into focusing may also cause a child to adopt a very close reading distance, causing eye strain, eye burning and nausea.
Convex (plus) lenses are given to help converge the light rays and bring the focal point directly on the retina rather than behind it. Contact lenses are also available as an alternative correction if preferred. It is important to note that children with hyperopia may not necessarily report clearer vision through their script, but rather a feeling of comfort due to the reduction in eye strain.
What Happens It’s Not Corrected
Studies have shown that a child can develop an array of issues if their hyperopia is left untreated. In particular untreated hyperopes who have a significant or uneven prescription can develop an in turning eye (esotropia). They may also develop refractive amblyopia, whereby the eye with the stronger script, or blurrier vision is switched off (suppressed) causing a lazy eye to develop.
Untreated hyperopia has also been linked to learning related difficulties. If a child experiences blurry vision, and vision related migraines due to this blurred vision, it may reflect badly on their ability to concentrate and absorb information in class.