In people with healthy and normal vision, the rays coming from the outside of the eye are evenly distributed, creating a clear image on the retinal surface. For various reasons, in hypermetropic people, these rays are focused behind the retina, not on the retinal surface. The rays are focused behind the retina because the eyeball is smaller than normal or because the cornea, the lens surface, is not sufficiently refractive of light. Hyperopia, which is seen in adults as well as infants and children, is an eye defect that can be treated.
What is hyperopia?
Hyperopia is an eye defect that occurs when rays refracted in the lens of the eye fall behind the retina. Hyperopia causes the rays to focus behind the retina because the posterior or anterior length of the eye is shorter than normal or the cornea and lens surface are not sufficiently refractive of light. This blurs the image formed on the retina. Hyperopia, often known as “nearsightedness”, can also cause distance vision problems and is among the most common eye defects. In low-level hyperopia, distance vision can be adapted, but near vision is difficult.
Distance vision is also impaired at high hypermetropic values. In addition, in parallel with the decrease in the adaptability of the eye as we advance in age, blurred vision occurs both near and far. It is classified according to the degree of refractive error in the eye. If the refractive error is less than 2 degrees as a result of an eye examination, it is defined as mild hyperopia. If it is between 2 and 5 degrees, it is defined as moderate hyperopia, and if it is 5 degrees or more, it is defined as high-grade hyperopia.
Who Gets Hypermetropia?
Most babies are born with mild hyperopia because their eye development is not yet complete. When the development process of babies is completed, this defect disappears on its own. However, some babies may continue to have hyperopia. If left untreated, it can lead to important eye health problems such as amblyopia and strabismus, especially known as lazy eye. Since the eye has not lost its adaptability during childhood and adolescence, there is no problem with seeing far. Even close vision may not be a problem.
However, with advancing age (over 40 years), our natural lens in the eye loses its flexibility due to a decrease in the ratio of elastin fibers, so hyperopia greatly affects both far and near vision. Because our natural lenses are incapable of zooming by bending forward inside the eye,
For the early diagnosis of lazy eye, it is of great importance that all children between the ages of 6 months and 7 years undergo eye examinations at regular intervals. When deemed necessary, the accommodation power of the eye can be destroyed with drops, and true hyperopia values can be determined. Eye drops may be required, especially in young age groups and in children with gliding or in children with more hyperopia in one eye.
What Are the Symptoms of Hyperopia?
The most basic symptom of hyperopia is the blurring of the image when looking at a fixed point. In these people, first of all, regardless of age, near-sightedness can be seen. When hypermetropia increases, adaptation becomes insufficient at long distances. For this reason, hyperopia is often confused with another vision problem, presbyopia. Prespiopia is the inability to see far because the lens loses its elasticity and adaptability due to age.
Hyperopia is the inability to focus light on the retina due to a short eye axis or insufficient curvature of the corneal lens. Regardless of the eye disorder, whether it is emmetropic (non-graded), hyperopia, or myopia, most people after the age of 40 experience an increase in close-related problems. However, this naturally happens more in hypermetropes. Myopia, on the other hand, may have fewer complaints as they can see well for a certain period of time without glasses. The most common symptoms of hyperopia can be listed as follows:
- Difficulty focusing on objects
- Burning eyes while reading a book or working at the computer
- easy distraction
- Try to see with squinting.
- Recurring pain in the eye or head
- Inward rolling of the eyes in children
How is hyperopia diagnosed?
Hyperopia is an eye defect that can be easily diagnosed after a comprehensive eye examination. During the examination, a standard vision test is administered first. If the vision test indicates that the person is hyperopic, the ophthalmologist may use certain methods to find out what factor is causing the hyperopia. Today, autorefractometry and retinoscopy methods are used to determine the type and degree of refractive errors.
Autorefractometry is a relatively more practical procedure. However, in some patients, especially infants and children, retinoscopy should also be used. During this process, a special light is shone into the eye, and it is observed how and to what degree the light is reflected from the retina. As a result of the examination, the reflection of the light can be determined and a definitive diagnosis can be made.
How Is Hyperopia Treated?
The main purpose of hyperopia treatment is to ensure that the rays coming from the outside fall on the anterior surface of the retina. For this, various treatment methods are applied. It is possible to divide the treatment methods into three titles, as glasses, contact lenses, and surgical intervention:
- The most common hyperopia treatment is the use of glasses. Convex lenses, which increase the refractive power of the eye, are used in glasses given by prescription to people with hyperopia. Eyeglass lenses eliminate vision disorders by refracting the rays on the front surface of the retina.
- Contact lenses are also among the options used in the treatment of hyperopia.
- When prespyopia starts over the age of 40, progressive multifocal lenses and contact lenses are also available, showing both far and near.
- Among the treatment methods, surgical intervention is the most permanent solution. Surgical intervention is performed with a laser or intraocular lenses, which are widely used all over the world. With the refractive surgery method, it is aimed at correcting the vision by reshaping the cornea, or the front surface of the eye. The laser method used in the treatment of hyperopia can be performed in several different ways.
- The LASIK technique is one of the applied laser methods. In this technique, a thin layer is removed from the upper surface of the cornea and an excimer laser is applied to the lower bed. This method, which is a painless procedure, aims to correct refractive errors.
- In cases where the corneal structure of the person is thin, laser treatment is applied by removing only the epithelial flap without removing the upper surface of the cornea. This technique is called the “LASEK method.” Another technique is to strip the epithelium and perform PRK (excimer laser).
- Today, this type of eye can be treated with advanced technological excimer laser systems without stripping the epithelial layer.
- If hyperopic people are not suitable for any of these treatment methods, correction is made by replacing the lens in the eye (trifocal intraocular lens) or inserting a second lens into the eye (phakic intraocular contact lens).