In the United States, almost 14.2 million people aged 40 or older are farsighted, representing 8.4 percent of that population, according to the AAO.

Farsightedness is a bit different from nearsightedness in the way it presents, because most people who have nearsightedness are aware of their condition. People with nearsightedness are aware of their condition because they are able to see well up close, but when driving or looking at street signs, they are unable to see quite clearly, while people with farsightedness see distant objects clearly, but nearby objects may appear blurry.

How is farsightedness caused?

Farsightedness is a little different than nearsightedness because farsightedness is a system that is actually not focused enough. Essentially, what happens in the eye is that light comes through and focuses behind the retina. Your cornea and lens work together to focus light. And it does not focus sufficiently on the back of the retina where the macula is, and it focuses too far. Thus, this focusing system has to flex and work continuously to create a clear vision at distance.

What are the symptoms that you may experience if you have farsightedness?

The problem with that is that if the focus system is working constantly, then the system can be strained and is overloaded. Sometimes the focusing system gets worn out to the point where it doesn't work anymore, so you get blurry vision up close because the focusing system is not able to work hard enough to make things clearer, so when you're looking at close things, the focusing system has to work harder than when you're looking at things far away. This is one of those instances when a good doctor is worth their weight in gold. The signs of farsightedness can be identified by the eye doctor, even if they're hard to spot.

Oftentimes, people visit their eye doctor and have no complaints, saying nothing is wrong. We, eye doctors, have drops that can relax the focusing system so we can see the full extent of what's happening. When we see big changes in our patients, we know they have a lot of hidden farsightedness. And we know that, we can attribute that to symptoms like eye strain, tired eyes, or blurry vision. It can have a lot of symptoms, but an eye doctor performing a comprehensive eye exam will be able to tell right away when this is happening, and these drops can help diagnose it. Furthermore, glasses or contact lenses can really help alleviate some strain caused by an overburdened focusing system.

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