To see the objects clearly, the transparent cornea and lens need to act together to focus light rays and create a clear image on the light-sensitive retina, which is at the back of the eye. If the eyeball is short compared to the combined focusing power of the cornea and lens, the person suffers from long-sightedness. In medical terms, this condition is called hypermetropia. People with this disorder can see distant objects clearly, but have problems viewing objects close to them. Mild hypermetropia is a common characteristic of childhood.
Moderate hypermetropia doesn’t affect young people badly, because they can compensate by focusing the lens. When the condition is severe, the symptoms may start to appear earlier in life. The symptoms include:
- Pulling and burning sensation in the eye
- Difficulty in reading and viewing objects up close
- Blurred distance vision
If a child is disinterested in reading storybooks or frequently complains about headaches or shows symptoms as mentioned above, he/she should be taken to a doctor as soon as possible for an eye check-up. Hypermetropia does not only happen to young people. If an adult has trouble viewing near objects clearly, he/she should also go for vision tests.
The sooner hypermetropia is detected, the better. Routine eye check-ups at school generally detects this condition. However, those children who have a family history of severe hypermetropia should be tested for their vision before the age of three. This gives an opportunity for early treatment and correction of vision. An optometrist checks the eye-sight and the level of detail one can see to determine the severity of the condition. The condition can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Laser surgery can be used to to correct the focusing power of the cornea. However, laser surgery is not performed on children as the level of hypermetropia can keep on changing during childhood and early twenties.