What is hypermetropia?
Hypermetropia occurs when light rays focus behind the retina because the eye is either too short or has too little focusing power. Hypermetropia causes near and distant objects to appear blurry though the distance objects are relatively less blurry.
What causes hypermetropia?
Many children are born farsighted. Majority of them “outgrow” it as the eyeball lengthens with normal growth.
What are the symptoms of hypermetropia?
A low degree of hypermetropia is common and usually asymptomatic. Children with a higher degree of hypermetropia often present with visual fatigue, dislike reading or are occasionally clumsy. It can sometimes cause headaches, especially associated with reading or computer work. In some children, uncorrected hypermetropia can cause esotropia (cross eye) or amblyopia.
How is hypermetropia treated?
A small amount of hypermetropia in younger children does not need treatment unless the child has strabismus or amblyopia. A large amount of hypermetropia may require correction with spectacles after a complete examination by an eye specialist with cycloplegic eye drops (dilating pupil and paralysing internal eye muscles to enable accurate measurement of the hypermetropia).
Behaviours or conditions that might indicate hypermetropia
- Blurry or fuzzy vision when viewing near information predominantly.
- Blinking excessively and/or rubbing eyes frequently.
- Eye strain.
- Visual fatigue.
- Not interested in reading , or near visual tasks.
- Squint to help focus when looking at near information.
- Lack of attention or choosing to do something else after sustained visual concentration in near space.
What to do
- The young person should visit an optometrist to determine diagnosis and to be fitted for glasses with corrective lenses or contact lenses.
- When using glasses with corrective lenses or contact lenses, persevere. Try to engage the young person with something interesting and diverting to become more accustomed with the corrective view through the lenses when looking at near information.
- If the child’s vision fail to improve with correcting glasses then the child should be reviewed by ophthalmologist to make sure the diagnosis is correct
- If the young person finds it challenging to wear glasses or contact lenses, review whether the issue is one of comfort or whether the lenses may no longer be accurate. When a young person chooses not to wear prescription glasses and/or contact lenses and comfort has been ruled out, it might indicate that the prescription is no longer helpful and may need to be reviewed or that the young person is not experiencing any consistent, obvious and functional benefit from the correct prescription lenses and a review may be required.
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