Latent hyperopia

Hyperopia is a condition that affects about 25% of the population. Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is when the eye is too short which results in light focusing behind the retina. This can cause a person to have trouble focusing on near objects and can affect reading and the use of digital devices. Depending on severity, it can affect distance vision as well.

So, if that is hyperopia, what is latent hyperopia? In some cases of hyperopia, the focusing lens inside the eye will try to compensate by working hard to focus. When this happens, the amount of farsightedness can be “masked”, this is referred to as latent hyperopia. 

Latent hyperopia commonly causes eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue. It is tricky because since vision isn’t necessarily blurry, children may not complain of anything, so parents won’t have their eyes examined. This is why it is so important to have annual exams even if nothing appears to be wrong. 

To determine if latent hyperopia is present, a cycloplegic refraction is performed. This means that the optometrist will dilate the eyes which will paralyze the muscles that control focusing. Depending on the amount of hyperopia, glasses or contacts may be prescribed to be used when completing near tasks. As the child grows, the eye will grow longer and may grow out of the hyperopia all together. 

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