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Mr David Allamby
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Long sighted (hyperopia) is age-related and first causes reading vision to be blurred, with distance blur following some years later
Long-sightedness, or hyperopia, is a common eye condition that affects the clarity of your vision. It occurs when the eye is unable to focus light properly onto the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Long-sightedness can be caused by a number of factors, including the shape of your eyeball, the position of your cornea, or aging.
If a patient is long sighted, it is their close vision that is first affected. Near objects become blurry, such as reading a newspaper or seeing a text or number appear on a mobile phone. This blur for near objects gets worse as the patient ages, and eventually, even the far vision can also become blurry.
With long-sight, the close vision will always be worse than the distance vision. The name refers to the fact that it is the long sight which is always the better. The patient normally simply wears glasses for reading, particularly in the early stages. Later, the person may graduate to wearing varifocal glasses.
In a normal, healthy eye light rays enter via the cornea, pass through the entrance pupil (the natural opening in the iris) and continue through the lens located just posterior to the iris.
If there is no focusing error (glasses prescription), the cornea and lens bend the parallel light rays to converge together to make a sharp image on the retina.
This photosensitive layer at the back of the eye converts the light into data that passes along the optic nerve coming from the back of the eye, taking the visual information to the occipital lobe at the back of the brain; this brain region then processes this sight information so that you get a visual perception and awareness of the world.
There are various treatment options available for long-sightedness, including:
Glasses are the most common and simplest way to treat long-sightedness. They correct your vision by bending the light that enters your eye, which helps the light to focus directly on your retina.
Wearing glasses with lenses that have a plus (+) sign in front of them will help to correct long-sightedness. The higher the number after the plus sign, the more long-sighted you are. For example, +1.50 means you have a mild form of long-sightedness, while +3.00 means you have a severe form of the condition.
If you wear reading glasses, you will need to have an eye test every one to two years so that your prescription can be updated. This is because your vision can change over time, particularly as you get older.
While glasses are a convenient and effective way to treat long-sightedness, they can be a nuisance. They can also be easily lost or broken, and you may need to wear them all the time, including when you are playing sports or going swimming.
Contact lenses work in a similar way to glasses, but they are more convenient as they are less noticeable and do not fog up or get in the way when you are playing sports. You can also find contact lenses that are disposable, so you do not have to worry about cleaning them.
If you wear contact lenses, it is important to practice good lens hygiene. This includes washing your hands before you put in or take out your lenses, and cleaning them according to the manufacturer's instructions.
You should also be careful to avoid eye infections by not sharing your lenses with anyone else and not using water to clean them.
Laser eye surgery is a permanent solution for long-sightedness that can correct your vision so that you no longer need to wear glasses or contact lenses.
The surgery involves using a laser to create a small flap in your cornea. The surgeon then uses the laser to remove some tissue from your cornea, which changes its shape and helps the light to focus directly on your retina.
The most common type of laser eye surgery is known as LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis). It usually takes around 30 minutes to complete and you will usually be able to go home the same day.
Before having LASIK surgery, you will need to have a consultation with an eye surgeon to check that you are suitable for the procedure. This will involve having a thorough eye exam and discussing your medical history.
Your surgeon will also need to measure the thickness of your cornea. This is because if your cornea is too thin, there is a risk that the laser will go too deep and damage your eye.
During the surgery, you will be given local anaesthetic drops to numb your eyes. The surgeon will then use a laser to create a thin protective layer over your cornea. Next, the surgeon will use a second laser to reshape your cornea.
After the surgery, you will need to rest your eyes for a few hours. You may also need to take artificial tears or lubricating eyedrops to help your eyes heal.
Most people who have LASIK surgery will have a significant improvement in their vision. However, it is possible that you may still need to wear glasses or contact lenses for driving or reading.
It is also worth noting that LASIK surgery is not suitable for everyone. If you have a very high level of long-sightedness, you may not be suitable for the surgery.
If you have a high level of long-sightedness, you may be suitable for a procedure known as refractive lens exchange (RLE). This is a type of lens replacement surgery that is similar to cataract surgery.
During RLE, the surgeon removes your eye's natural lens and replaces it with an artificial lens implant. The artificial lens implants are available in different strengths, which means that they can be tailored to correct your vision.
RLE is a more invasive procedure than LASIK surgery and it usually takes longer to recover from. However, it can correct a higher level of long-sightedness. You can learn more about implantable contact lenses on our comprehensive refractive lens exchange surgery page.
Hyperopia can often occur in childhood, before the age of 10, but which then improves as the eye grows. The child will no longer need glasses, often for many years.
When long sight develops in adults, it is often in the 20s or 30s, initially just affecting reading vision. Because this is an age-related problem, it will naturally progress as the person gets older. This process continues until it finally stabilises in the early 60s.
Higher degrees of long sight in younger patients, or all hyperopic patients after 50, will start to notice their distance vision also becoming blurry. Bifocal or varifocal glasses, or simply two pairs of different strengths (one for TV and driving or day to day living, the other for reading), will usually be necessary.
Laser surgery can improve long sightedness but the patient needs to be aware that the condition does progress with age, so a long-term cure is often not possible. The exception to this rule is those patients age 55 and above with mild to moderate degrees of hyperopia, which can get a long-lasting improvement when having their far vision (e.g. driving and TV) vision corrected.
However, long-sighted patients can be very happy with the outcome, due to the disabling nature of long sight with every distance often being blurred.
Laser treatments have significantly developed over the past ten years.
Using an excimer laser, we can now correct up to 6 dioptres of hyperopia, with or without astigmatism, although correction is the best treatment, as it works best for up to 4 dioptres.
Treating long-sightedness with our LASIK procedure involves creating a thin flap using a femtosecond laser, which at Focus is the advanced Ziemer LDV and then using the WaveLight Allegretto excimer laser to remove tissue in the outer part of the cornea so steepening the central zone.
This central steepening makes the cornea a more powerful lens, compensating for long-sight effects.
At Focus Clinic, we prefer using LASIK rather than PRK to correct hyperopia. Because it is a progressive condition that worsens with age, it is crucial for the patient to realise that this is not a permanent solution, even though they will always retain a benefit from the treatment. With a second enhancement procedure, it may be possible to improve the vision further when the patient is older and has more farsight.
Hyperopic patients are often the happiest after treatment. This is because higher degrees of this refractive error are a very unpleasant condition because vision is blurred at every distance. This compares to short sight, where at least the near vision is in clear focus.
As always, during the consultation, your eye surgeon will explain all aspects of treatment and what would be best for your individual case.
As with all forms of laser treatment, there is a small associated risk with surgery for hyperopia. These will be fully explained to you by your refractive surgeon during the consultation process.
The most common risks are:
You may experience some mild discomfort for the first day or two following treatment, but this can be relieved with lubricant eye drops. Most people feel some improvement in their vision almost immediately. We will provide you with a comprehensive post-operative care package to ensure that your eyes heal quickly and comfortably.
Some patients experience a small degree of haziness or glare in their vision for the first few days especially when around bright lights. This is perfectly normal and should start to clear within a few days, although it can take up to 3-6 months for your vision to settle completely. In very rare cases, an enhancement procedure may be required.
This is a very rare complication that can occur with any form of laser treatment. It can usually be treated with a course of topical steroids, although in very rare cases, a corneal transplant may be required.
To be eligible for this treatment you must:
If you are interested in learning more about laser eye surgery for long sight, please book a free consultation with one of our expert refractive surgeons.
During your consultation, our ophthalmic surgeons will assess your suitability for the treatment and go through the risks and benefits with you so that you can make an informed decision about whether this treatment is right for you.
At Focus Clinic, we offer laser eye surgery for long sight to help you achieve clear vision. Our ophthalmic surgeons are some of the most experienced and qualified in the UK, meaning you can trust us to provide you with the best possible care.
If you would like to book a free consultation, please get in touch with us today.
Yes, laser eye surgery is a treatment option for long-sightedness.
The most commonly used type of laser eye surgery for this condition is called laser in situ keratectomy (LASIK). LASIK is a treatment that involves reshaping the cornea, which is the clear front surface of the eye.
This correction allows light to be properly focused on the retina, resulting in improved vision.
Yes, LASIK can be used to treat both short-sightedness and long-sightedness, including age-related presbyopia.
This is because the laser can be used to change the shape of the cornea, which alters the way that light is refracted and focuses on the retina.
Yes, laser eye surgery can be used to treat short-sightedness as well as long-sightedness.
Short-sightedness, also known as myopia, is a refractive error where light focuses in front of the retina, resulting in blurred distant vision.
If you are short-sighted, laser eye surgery can be used to correct your vision so that you can see clearly at all distances.
There are certain conditions that make someone unsuitable for laser eye surgery. These include:
If you have any of these conditions, laser eye surgery is not recommended. However, there may be other treatment options available that can help improve your vision.
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