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Nearsightedness: Hyperopic Shift After Surgery - Topic Overview

Most people who have radial keratotomy (RK) surgery gradually become more farsighted for at least 8 to 10 years after surgery. This is called the hyperopic shift. It is not clear what causes the shift, how long it may continue, or how significant it may become.

The effect of the hyperopic shift depends on the person's age and whether the person is nearsighted or farsighted after the surgery:

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  • People who are still slightly nearsighted after surgery (undercorrected) may find that their distance vision improves gradually as the hyperopic shift occurs.
  • People younger than 40 may not notice the hyperopic shift, because their eye can adjust to the change.
  • People around age 40 may develop presbyopia sooner as a result of the hyperopic shift and may need reading glasses.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 11, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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