Farsightedness is greater difficulty seeing near objects than distant objects.
Farsightedness is the result of the visual image being focused behind the retina rather than directly on it. It may be caused by the eyeball being too small or the focusing power being too weak.
Farsightedness is often present from birth, but children have a very flexible eye lens, which helps make up for the problem. As aging occurs, glasses or contact lenses may be required to correct the vision. If you have family members who are farsighted, you are also more likely to become farsighted.
- Aching eyes
- Blurred vision when looking at close objects
- Crossed eyes (strabismus) in some children
- Eye strain
- Headache while reading
Mild farsightedness may not cause any problems, but you may need reading glasses.
Exams and Tests
A general eye examination to diagnose farsightedness may include the following tests:
- Eye movement testing
- Glaucoma testing
- Refraction test
- Retinal examination
- Slit-lamp examination
- Visual acuity
This list is not all-inclusive.
Farsightedness is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Surgery is available for correcting farsightedness in adults, and can be used for those who do not wish to wear glasses or contacts.
The outcome is expected to be good.
Farsightedness can be a risk factor for glaucoma and crossed eyes.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call for an appointment with your health care provider or ophthalmologist if symptoms of farsightedness develop and you have not had an eye examination recently.
Also, call if vision begins to get worse after you have been diagnosed with farsightedness.
If you have been diagnosed with farsightedness or suspect you may have farsightedness and you suddenly develop severe eye pain, eye redness, or decreased vision you should see your eye doctor immediately.
Katz M, Kruger PB. The human eye as an optical system. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:chap 33.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.