Hyperopia, commonly known as long-sightedness, is where the eyes are most relaxed and work the best when viewing distant objects, and need to work much harder to be able to see objects up close.
Mild long-sightedness causes a child to require working twice as hard (double focus) when reading at short distance. An inability of the eye muscles to cope with the added stress results in poor word definition and impaired reading. Poor visual efficiency at near causes
- Eye discomfort
- Task avoidance
- Poor reading comprehension
- Reduced reading fluency
Depending on how old your child is, the symptoms of long-sightedness can vary. If your child is younger, they often don't report any symptoms as young children don't often realise they have poor vision. An older child can verbalise and explain an eyestrain, headaches, poor visual stamina or sore eyes when reading or looking up close. A child may be less interested in reading because of the strain it causes, and parents and/or teachers may notice issues with school work.
Some common signs of long-sightedness include
- Eye rubbing
- Red and/or watering eyes with concentration
- Excessive blinking when looking up close
Treatment of hyperopia, or long-sightedness, often involves correction with glasses or contact lenses. As the eye's focusing ability is different when looking far away compared to looking up close, often different powers are needed for different viewing distances. In this instance, a bifocal or progressive lens is prescribed. Regardless of the visual condition, glasses can't be worn too often, so if your child prefers to leave the glasses on all day, this is perfectly safe. Those who wear glasses do not become dependent on them and the eyesight does not get worse through the use of spectacles.