Far-Sightedness (Hyperopia)

What is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia (far-sightedness), myopia (near-sightedness), and astigmatism (distorted vision) are what as know as refractive errors.

For proper eyesight, the cornea (the clear window in front of the eye) and the lens (behind the pupil) must properly focus or "refract" light onto the retina (at the back of the eye). If the length or shape of the eye is not ideal, the light may get focused too early or too late leaving a blurred image on the retina.

Hyperopia, or far-sightedness, is the ability to clearly see objects at a distance but not those up close.

Causes and Symptoms

Like near-sightedness, far-sightedness is usually an inherited condition. Young children tend to be hyperopic to some degree although the severity lessens as they age and the eye grows and becomes longer.

Children with far-sightedness can often see both distant and close objects because the youthful strength of their lenses can often overcome the shortness of the eye. Non-visual signs such as headaches or a lack of interest in reading may be signs of a high degree of hyperopia.


Treatment is not necessary for children with a small amount of hyperopia where no symptoms are evident. Those with more severe cases or crossed eyes are best treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses.

© Copyright by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society