Farsightedness, also referred to as “hyperopia” by eye doctors, is the common term describing eyesight that is blurry on objects that are nearby, but clear when you look at anything in the distance.

So, watching TV may be a problem, but reading a highway billboard probably isn’t. That’s farsighted vision—seeing things clearly when they’re far. This is the opposite of nearsightedness. (Read more about nearsighted vision.)

Farsightedness or presbyopia…? Let’s find out.

If you think you may have farsightedness symptoms, let’s do a bit of detective work first. The problem may be what optometrists call “presbyopia.” Many of the conditions are exactly the same (e.g., blurry vision with reading any object that’s close up to you and clear vision in the distance).

The main difference between presbyopia and farsightedness is your current age. If you’re over 40, and just starting to notice your eyes can’t focus on reading smaller text—especially in low light situations like a restaurant—you probably have presbyopia, not farsightedness.

Both vision conditions are quite common and easily corrected; they just require different types of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Check with your eye doctor. (You can also read more about presbyopia.)

What causes farsightedness?

Farsighted eyesight can stem from several causes, but heredity is likely the culprit.

If you have farsighted vision, the light entering your pupils doesn’t focus correctly on your retina. This can happen because your eye is shorter than normal, and thus the images focus slightly behind the retina. This causes the newspaper in your hands to appear blurry, while anything in the distance may appear fine.

How to correct farsighted vision

Is there a cure for farsightedness…? There’s nothing in the form of a magic pill to take, but there are several other options.

Contacts for farsightedness

Spherical contact lenses correct blurry, farsighted eyesight. Be sure to consider all of your options, like how often you’d like to change your contacts or how long you’ll be wearing them in one day.  

Prescription glasses

Eyeglasses are another option for correcting farsightedness. It’s a lifestyle choice between contacts vs. eyeglasses. Consider the options of both.

Laser surgery for the eye

LASIK is also an option for farsightedness. An ophthalmologist uses a laser to reshape part of your cornea. When considering this, consider the cost, too. Not all insurance plans cover LASIK. Contact your insurance agent and ask what your policy covers.

As we’ve learned, farsightedness is very common and easily corrected. If you have trouble reading small text, or your vision is slightly blurry when you’re looking at anything or anyone nearby, find an eye doctor. He or she will evaluate your vision and options.

And, it’s a painless process that won’t steal very much of your time.

Unlike some temporary ailment like the common cold, farsightedness simply won’t go away without some form of corrective action. Why miss out on clear vision in your life?


Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional. For specific questions, please see your eye care practitioner.
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