In this particular episode of Ask an Eye Doc, you will learn:
- How farsighted people see
- Why some people might not realize they are farsighted until later in life
- What is axial length and how that makes you farsighted
This episode goes along with the following episodes:
- episode 1 – what is astigmatism
- episode 4 – focusing lens
- episode 7 – the retina
- episode 13 – what is nearsightedness
For you readers out there, here’s the answer in written form:
Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a condition where you see better far away than up close. A lot of people confuse whether they are nearsighted or farsighted. Both of these terms describe your natural vision without glasses. If you see better far away than up close, then you are probably farsighted.
The key word here is better. Farsighted people can have blurred distance and near vision, but the distance vision is better than the near vision.
I should note that it’s possible to be both farsighted and have a lot of astigmatism. If this is the case, your distance vision is still better than your near vision, but both distance and near will be even blurrier because of the astigmatism. If you want to know more about astigmatism, listen to episode 1.
A young farsighted person can actually build their own prescription by adjusting their internal focusing lens using their focusing muscle, as discussed in episode 4. This means you might not even know that you’re farsighted, depending on how much focusing ability you have.
As you approach your mid-30’s, or earlier depending on how farsighted you are, you may notice eyestrain and fatigue after reading or computer work. By the time you are in your late 30’s or early 40’s, you will need reading glasses and eventually full-time glasses as your distance becomes a bit blurry as well. This is because you slowly lose your focusing ability over time and you are no longer able to build your own prescription with your natural focusing lens anymore.
What makes people farsighted is having a shorter axial length, the length between your retina and the front part of your eye. If you don’t know what the retina is and how the eye is like a movie theater, be sure to check out episode 7.
Wearing glasses or contacts for farsightedness makes light converge more quickly so that it is focused properly on your retina.
So in a word or two, farsightedness, or hyperopia, is having short eyeballs.