Correcting Farsightedness

Farsightedness generally means that distance vision is better than near vision. The term usually refers to what doctors call “presbyopia,” the age-related loss of near vision due to the gradual hardening of the natural lens of the eye. Presbyopia, by itself, does not affect distance vision.

There is a second, much less common type of farsightedness, though, called Hyperopia that does affect distance vision as well. You can be both hyperopic and presbyopic, or have either condition by itself.

Presbyopia cannot reliably be reversed with eye exercises, diet, or supplements. It is like getting gray hair -an inevitable part of aging.

However, it is possible to “make an end run” around presbyopia, through optical strategies such as monovision. With one eye set to a distance focus and the other to a near focus, the brain can merge the two into a single virtual image that includes near and far. Not everybody can do this successfully though. Monovision can be achieved with contact lenses, LASIK, and with lens implants in the case of cataract surgery.

Corneal inlays (a surgical procedure) have been tried in an attempt to “get around” presbyopia using the “pinhole effect.” My own experience is that while it “kinda” works, patients are rarely completely satisfied with the degree of near vision improvement.

The most complete (and most permanent) surgical treatment is to use artificial lens implants to replace the hardening lens (or cataract). The newest of these are presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses and can do an excellent job of giving both near and distance vision. But this is also the most aggressive option. And even with the very best results, it is not the same exact vision you may have had. 

 

If you are interested in learning more about farsightedness, click here.

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