C.R. Williams
04th Dec

What is Long-Sightedness and How to Spot it

Long-sightedness is a confusing term for many, but it does describe this type of sight fairly well.

Long-sightedness affects the ability to see nearby objects meaning objects further away are clearer, while ones closer to you may be blurred and unfocused. If most often affects people over 40 but it can affect those of all ages, including those of younger ages.

If the eye is naturally a little weak or under-powered in its focus then it will have to put in a bit of muscle effort to change the eye’s lens strength. For small degrees of long-sightedness this doesn’t cause any problems, especially if the eye is young and the lens is flexible.

But as we get older, the lens in our eye gets less flexible and will not respond to the effort we put in. So, the effort creates eye strain which can cause aches around the eyes, headaches across the forehead and possibly into the back of the head. Eventually, the effort is too much and the vision remains blurred as the eye cannot refocus enough to bring things clear.

If the amount of long-sightedness is quite high, then these symptoms can happen at an early age, and can even cause strain when looking at far objects.

Putting lots of effort in to focus is usually the cause of an eye that turns off line (squint). This is even more so if the two eyes are unequally focussed, because the brain will pick on the eye that is more blurred and allow it to drift rather than try to keep it straight. If this is seen in a child, then the sooner it is dealt with, the better, as the earlier the correction is given the better the outcome. Left unattended, it will lead to permanently dull vision in one eye (commonly called a lazy eye).

How to spot long-sightedness
If you have long-sightedness, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

    - Nearby objects seem fuzzy or unfocused but looking further away is much clear
    - Having to squint to see clearly
    - Tired or strained eyes after activity which involves looking at close objects
    - Frequent headaches

So, what is the best advice?
If you experience any symptoms of long-sightedness, it would be best to book yourself an appointment with your local opticians as soon as you can.

If headaches are a symptom, your doctor may need to check other possible causes of the headache if the optometrist recommends.

Treatment can be with glasses and possibly training for the weaker eye to boost the vision. As we get older, any symptoms of eye strain or headache should be checked through an eye test initially, as you may just need some help to overcome the focusing effort.

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