Home > Common Eye Conditions > Long Sightedness

Long Sightedness

By: Heather Marshall - Updated: 26 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Hyperopia hypermetropia  convex Lenses

Long sightedness is an eye condition where you can see things clearly in the distance but have difficulty seeing objects close up. It is a very common eye problem and can easily be treated just by wearing the correct glasses or contact lenses. The medical name for this problem is hypermetropia but it may also be known as hyperopia. When looking at things close up or reading for a long period of time some people experience blurred vision, headaches and eyestrain. This indicates that the level of long sightedness is quite high.

How Vision is Affected

Long sightedness develops because the length from the front to the back of the eyeball is too short. In some people it is caused because the cornea does not have enough curvature. We are able to see when light enters the eye through the cornea. The cornea lens is curved to help bend the light and direct the light to a point on the retina. The eye ball is also shaped to ensure the light can bend and focus on the correct place on the retina. When the light hits the right place on the retina we can then see images. If you are long sighted the light hits a point behind the retina, missing the correct spot on the retina and vision becomes blurred.


The condition is often inherited so if you have a family history of long sightedness then it is important to have regular eye tests to check for the condition. Some people only have a low degree of long sightedness but if it does cause headaches or eyestrain it is important to get it checked out and treated if necessary.


Long sightedness is not a disease or illness so it cannot be treated by medication. Your vision can however be easily corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses. Your optician will ensure the lenses are the correct strength so you can see clearly at all distances.

Convex lenses are used to treat long sightedness, which are specially designed to bend the light so the retina can focus. These lenses are thinner at the edge than in the centre. The curvature, the weight and the thickness of the lens will be determined by how severe the condition is. Convex lenses can be fitted to a huge number of frames which you can choose from. As long as you do not have any other eye problems you may only have to wear glasses or contact lenses for reading and other close up activities. You will also be advised to have regular eye tests to so that your glasses can be adjusted as your sight changes. Eye tests are also important to check for the early signs of eye diseases as well as other health problems.

Laser treatment is becoming more popular to treat long sightedness. A treatment known as Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) involves a surgical technique which creates a thin, hinged surface flap of cornea which is gently moved aside before the laser is applied to the deeper layers of the cornea. The flap is repositioned afterwards.

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