Farsightedness (hypermetropia) is a refractive error that occurs when the eye focuses the light behind the retina.
The lens changes its strength (i.e. it becomes thicker or rounder) to focus the light on the retina.
This process of natural correction is called accommodation.
Farsighted people often have no symptoms due to compensation for the error. Still, if they don’t fully accommodate and the light doesn’t focus correctly, vision is blurred.
This happens for the following reasons:
- the eyeball is too short,
- the cornea is too flat,
- the lens is not rounded enough.
With farsightedness, you can clearly see distant things, but you cannot see nearby objects clearly.
Other visual defects:
- Myopia is a refractive error characterized by focusing the image in front of the retina, consequently nearsighted people have trouble recognizing distant objects.
- Astigmatism is a visual disorder in which the cornea (transparent structure that covers the front of the eye) is deformed.
- unilateral (in only one eye) or
- occur bilaterally (in both eyes).
What does the normal eye structure consist of?
The eye consists of different parts:
- one side for the focus in the front area (cornea and lens);
- a light-sensitive cell layer at the back of the eye (retina);
- a communication pathway to the brain (optic nerve).
- The light enters through a hole, the so-called pupil.
- The colored, circular iris surrounds the pupil.
The light is focused in the rear area via the lens.
A small light-sensitive cell layer (photoreceptors) is located at the back of the eye.
The photoreceptors absorb the information from the field of view and form a thin film, the retina.
Each photoreceptor sends very fine signals to the brain.
The “electrical cables” that connect each eye to the brain are the optic nerves.
Types of farsightedness
There are three types:
- Congenital farsightedness
- Simple farsightedness
- Acquired farsightedness
If there are no malformations at birth, the visual system functions correctly, but the newborn’s vision is limited to indistinct shapes and lights.
The reason for this is the fact that they are very farsighted.
Healthy infants have farsightedness of at least four diopters at birth.
This is physiological and a result of a number of factors, including poor coordination of the eye muscles.
As a rule, farsightedness in newborns, children and adolescents up to the age of 15 is physiological, as it is associated with the growth of the eyeball.
Farsightedness usually passes when the eyeball is fully grown.
Simple farsightedness is divided into:
- Axial: the eyeball is shorter than normal.
- Index-related: the lens has a reduced refractive index.
- Due to curvature: the cornea has a less pronounced curvature.
- Proportional: the lens is further back than normal.
Acquired or pathological farsightedness
Acquired or pathological farsightedness is provoked by:
- anomalies of eye structures,
Another possible cause of acquired farsightedness is the removal of the lens during cataract surgery.
In these cases, farsightedness is usually temporary and passes with the cure of the disease.
Acquired farsightedness can occur after severe trauma that weakens the structure of the eye.
Classification after correction of farsightedness
- Optional farsightedness – the degree of farsightedness that can be corrected by accommodation; this value changes due to the accommodation ability of the eye.
- Absolute farsightedness – part of farsightedness that cannot be corrected by accommodation.
- Manifest farsightedness – it results from a refractive test without the use of drugs that reduce the ability to accommodate; it is the sum of absolute and optional farsightedness.
- Latent farsightedness – is visible only when there is restriction of accommodation provoked by atropine eye drops.
Total farsightedness is the sum of manifest and latent farsightedness.
Causes of farsightedness
As a rule, the causes of farsightedness are genetic.
Farsightedness can occur at any age, but becomes more obvious from the age of 40.
In rare cases, farsightedness is caused by other conditions, such as:
- small eye syndrome (microphthalmia),
- Eye tumor.
What are the symptoms of farsightedness? How does it manifest itself?
In adolescence, it is possible that there are no symptoms.
With age, symptoms may become noticeable, such as:
- tired eyes,
- burning eyes when seeing closely,
- tear flow,
- eye pain after reading, writing, working at the PC,
- reddened and dry eyes,
- cloudy vision when seeing nearby due to difficulty focusing,
- reduction of long-distance vision in severely farsighted people,
- convergence strabismus in children,
- Amblyopia in monolateral farsightedness.
With age, farsightedness tends to worsen.
In adults and old people, especially after the age of 40, the ability to accommodate nearby is not possible, because due to the loss of elasticity of the lens, there is difficulty in seeing close objects sharply.
Diagnosis of farsightedness
The ophthalmologist can detect farsightedness during a comprehensive eye examination.
The extent of farsightedness can be measured in diopters.
- A mild farsightedness is between zero and two (+2) diopters.
- Moderate farsightedness ranges from two (+2) to five (+5) diopters.
- A high degree of farsightedness is above five (+5) diopters.
Therapy of farsightedness and surgical intervention with the laser
According to conventional medicine, farsightedness can be corrected with:
- Contact lenses
- refractive laser surgery
Natural medicine advises against lenses and surgical interventions, because in this way the eye gets used to not exerting itself; as a result, muscles and nerves atrophy.
This leads to further loss of vision.
According to Shelton’s hygienism, farsightedness can recede (regress) with the following natural remedies:
- Fasting – in his experience, he has been able to help many people.
- Eye exercises and vision training that improve the coordination of eye muscles.
Living in the fresh air is essential to accustom the eye to looking into the distance; on the other hand, if you sit at the PC or over the books for a long time, you can increase the refractive errors.
The use of glasses or contact lenses for a few hours a day is not recommended, because when they are discontinued or removed, vision deteriorates.
Surgery with the LASIK procedure is used to treat visual disturbances such as:
The LASIK procedure changes the shape of the cornea to better focus light or eye refraction.
LASIK is the preferred procedure for most people when appropriate.
This procedure is:
- almost painless,
- very quickly leads to restoration of vision,
- both eyes can be treated in a single session.
During LASIK treatment:
- First, a thin strip of the cornea is raised.
- The device then emits high-energy laser beams to transform the cornea.
- After the transformation of the tissue, the corneal valve is returned to its original position.
- Recovery times are short and there is no need for stitching.
Most patients who have undergone laser surgery are very satisfied with daytime vision, but nocturnal vision may be worsened.
The reason for this is that all lasers in the peripheral region of the cornea are less effective, and an oval shape causes greater glare at night.
The new laser technologies compensate for this deficiency by increasing the number of impacts in the periphery to create a more suitable shape.
This allows for better night vision.
LASEK and PRK are other surgical procedures that can be used for myopia, farsightedness, presbyopia, and astigmatism.
If the cornea is too thin, laser surgery with the LASIK procedure is not possible because the residual thickness of the cornea would be too small.
In this case, the LASEK procedure is particularly indicated, in which the corneal thickness is preserved.
The surgeon carefully lifts an epithelial strip (a thin strip of cell that covers the cornea) and rolls it to one side to facilitate laser treatment.
The LASEK process is more superficial: 50 microns below the surface, while LASIK operates down to 160 microns below the surface.
It must be borne in mind that the higher the refractive index, the more tissue has to be removed.
Therefore, there are cases where LASIK is not possible due to the existing corneal thickness and the amount of tissue that needs to be removed.
What is the difference between LASIK and LASEK?
The LASIK and LASEK procedures are very similar, but LASEK:
- does not cause a feeling of pressure during the procedure;
- takes about 10 minutes for each eye;
- a soft contact lens is placed on the eye and must be worn for 4 or 5 days after surgery, including at night in bed;
- on the first day after the operation, there is a slight discomfort, but these decrease continuously, so that the eye is virtually symptom-free on the 3rd day after the operation;
- it takes longer for vision to fully recover; with LASIK, vision is already very good the following day; with LASEK, vision needs more time to recover;
- after five days, the contact lens is removed and the vision corresponds to about 80% of the final vision; final vision is achieved about a month after surgery, although visual acuity improves continuously for another 6 months.
Implantation of intraocular lenses to correct farsightedness
This system can be used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism.
- The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and takes about a quarter of an hour.
- The insertion of the intraocular lens is performed on an outpatient basis, after completion the patient can return home.
- The surgeon makes a very small incision in the cornea and inserts the lens inside the eye.
This lens should remain in the eye forever.
- The patient does not experience pain during the procedure, the results are clear from day one, and patients are very satisfied after surgery.
- If necessary, the lens can be removed, especially if the patient has developed a cataract.
During cataract surgery, the lens must be removed and replaced to give the patient a clear view.
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