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The inability to see objects clearly up close is called hyperopia or farsightedness. Unlike nearsightedness that develops when the eye is too long and/or the cornea too steep, people with farsightedness have an eyeball that is too short or a cornea that is not curved enough, causing images to extend beyond the retina at the back of the eye. Farsightedness also may develop when the lens within the eye sits further back than normal. As a common refractive disorder, farsightedness may be diagnosed first in childhood, and some children outgrow the condition as they – and their eyes – develop. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health optometrists have many decades of experience diagnosing, treating and managing patients with farsightedness. For more information about Virginia Mason Franciscan Health's optometrists or to schedule an appointment regarding farsightedness, call 206-223-6840.

Diagnosing farsightedness

Farsightedness is commonly diagnosed and treated first in childhood, during a routine eye exam. Two common eye exams that diagnose vision problems at any age are a visual acuity test, which determines reading and distance vision, and a refraction exam with a phoropter, a machine that measures and corrects the eyes' ability to refract or bend light through the lens and onto the retina. The measurements that correct common refractive errors are called diopters.

Treating farsightedness

Farsightedness is generally corrected with eyeglasses and contacts. At this time there is not a refractive surgery technique that is widely accepted. Your optometrist will discuss all of these options with you.