What Is Farsightedness?

When you’re able to see things fine when they’re far away, but everything gets blurry up close, you’re probably farsighted. This is also is called hyperopia. It means that the eye focuses better on distant objects than on those that are close.

Children with mild to moderate farsightedness can see both close and far away without correction, because the muscles and lenses in their eyes can squint very well and overcome the farsightedness.

But as you get older, it gets harder to squint well, which makes it tougher to focus on things in the distance.


Your eyes focus light rays and send the image of what you’re looking at to your brain. When you’re farsighted, the light rays don’t focus like they should. The cornea, the clear outer layer of your eye, and the lens focus images directly on the surface of your retina, which lines the back of the eye. If your eye is too short, or the power to focus is too weak, the image will go to the wrong place, behind the retina. That’s what makes things look blurry.

Hyperopia often runs in families. But lots of children who get it from their parents outgrow it.


You may have

If you have these symptoms when you wear glasses or contacts, you may need a new prescription.

Diagnosis and Treatment

All it takes to diagnose farsightedness is a basic eye exam. Glasses, contact lenses, or vision correction surgery can correct your vision.

If your problem is severe, you may need to wear glasses or contacts all the time. But some people only need them to see objects up close, like when you read or sew.

With farsightedness, your prescription is a positive number, such as +3.00. The higher the number, the stronger the lenses.

If contacts or glasses aren’t for you, eye surgery may be the answer. The most common procedure to correct farsightedness is LASIK. The doctor creates a flap on the top of your cornea, then uses a laser to sculpt tissue inside your eye. Then she’ll move the flap back into place.

Talk to your eye doctor about your options, how well they work, and what’s involved.

Does It Get Better Over Time?

It’s normal for your eyes to change as you get older. Adults over 40 who are already farsighted often need reading glasses earlier in life. Eventually, you may also need glasses or contacts to help you see better at a distance.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD on September 12, 2018



Yanoff, M; Duker, J. Ophthalmology, Mosby, 2008.

National Eye Institute: "Facts About Refractive Errors" and "Facts About Hyperopia."

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