Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

What Is Hyperopia (Farsightedness)?

Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a refractive error that results from a disorder rather than from a disease. A refractive error means that the shape of your eye does not bend light correctly, resulting in a blurred image. Hyperopia usually is inherited and children who are hyperopic often become less hyperopic as adults.


  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing objects up close
  • Crossing of the eyes in children (esotropia)

The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have hyperopia. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist for a complete exam.


Hyperopia occurs when the image formed by the focusing mechanism of the eye is “behind” the retina. This often occurs if an eye is shorter than average.

Risk Factors

A family history of hyperopia

Tests and Diagnosis

Hyperopia can be diagnosed by a careful refraction by an ophthalmologist. 

For children and young adults, a cycloplegic refraction may be necessary to diagnose the correct amount of hyperopia. The focusing mechanism of the eye can mask the full amount of hyperopia but, during a cycloplegic refraction, eye drops are given to paralyze this mechanism so the true amount of hyperopia can be measured and corrected if needed. 

Treatment and Drugs

Hyperopia is commonly treated using corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgery may be able to correct some forms of hyperopia. 

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Reviewed by Jill E. Bixler, M.D.