Skip to main content

Long-sightedness (Hypermetropia)

A common eye condition that affects close-up vision

Man with long sightedness (hypermetropia) lowers his glasses to see his mobile phone
Long-sightedness, also known as hypermetropia, hyperopia or farsightedness, is a common type of refractive error. A refractive error is when the shape of your cornea prevents light from focusing on your retina (the light-sensitive part at the back of your eye) causing your vision to become blurred and distorted.

People with long-sightedness can see things at a distance clearly but have difficulty seeing things close up.

Long-sightedness can be treated with corrective glasses, contact lenses or eye surgery.

Call or book online today to arrange a consultation to discuss private long-sightedness treatment with a consultant of your choice at Circle Health Group.

This page explains what long-sightedness is, what the symptoms of long-sightedness are, and how it can be treated.

Common symptoms of long-sightedness include:

  • Blurred vision when looking at close-up objects
  • Seeing things further away more easily
  • Tired eyes after close-up work such as reading or using a computer (asthenopia)
  • Headaches
  • Lazy eye (amblyopia)
  • Squint (strabismus)

Long-sightedness is caused by the size and shape of your eye.

In normal vision, light enters the eye and is curved by the cornea (the clear layer at the front of the eye) and the lens, focusing light directly onto the retina. This is known as refraction.

In long-sightedness, the cornea is not curved enough, or the eye is too short, and the light focuses behind the retina causing close-up vision to appear blurred.

Long-sightedness often runs in families. It tends to get worse over the age of forty. Rarely, long-sightedness may be due to a medical condition like diabetes or eye cancer.

Treatments for long-sightedness include glasses, contact lenses, laser, or lens surgery.


Glasses are a simple, inexpensive treatment for long-sightedness. Convex (plus) lenses help focus light on your retina and correct your vision.

Contact lenses

Contact lenses work in the same way as glasses to correct vision but are worn directly on the surface of the eye. There are many types of contact lenses available including soft lenses, rigid, gas-permeable lenses, and disposable and non-disposable lenses. Your consultant can advise you on the right type of contact lens for you.

It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully when wearing contact lenses and to be scrupulous about hygiene to minimise the risk of infection. Contact lenses should not be worn when showering, swimming, or sleeping.

Laser eye surgery

Laser eye surgery is a pain-free procedure where the corneas are reshaped using lasers. Laser eye surgery can permanently correct, or significantly improve refractive errors such as long-sightedness in many people.

Laser surgery is carried out as day surgery and is performed under local anaesthetic.

There are several types of laser eye surgery including:

  • Surface laser treatments like (PRK, LASEK and TransPRK)

Lens surgery

During lens surgery, your lens (the clear disc at the front of your eye) is replaced with an implant to correct your vision. Like laser eye surgery, lens surgery is performed as a day case under local anaesthetic.

There are two types of lens surgery

  • Phakic intraocular lens implantation (PIOL) - an artificial lens is placed over your natural lens
  • Refractive lens exchange (RLE) - your natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens

Laser eye surgery and lens surgery are not usually available on the NHS and need to be arranged privately.

At your first consultation, you will be seen by a consultant ophthalmologist, a doctor specialising in conditions affecting the eye. Your consultant will ask you about your symptoms, general health, and medical history. They will perform a thorough eye examination.

Long-sightedness is diagnosed using a combination of your symptoms and the results of your eye examination.

At Circle Health Group, your first appointment is very important as it's where we get to know you, provide a diagnosis, and discuss possible treatment options. It's also where we learn about your expectations for treatment and encourage you to ask any questions you may have.

We answer some of your most commonly asked questions about long-sightedness.

Can you outgrow long-sightedness?

Long-sightedness in children often improves over time and may correct itself in adolescence or early adulthood. Long-sightedness over the age of forty is unlikely to improve without treatment and may get worse over time.

Do I need to wear glasses all the time for long-sightedness?

If you have long-sightedness, you will probably need to wear glasses for close-up tasks such as reading, driving, computer work and watching TV. Some people with long-sightedness prefer to wear glasses all the time.

Do I need concave or convex lenses for long-sightedness?

You will need to use convex lenses to correct long-sightedness.

Is astigmatism the same as long-sightedness?

No. Astigmatism is a separate condition where the eyeball is oval-shaped rather than round, causing blurred vision both close up and far away.

How common is long-sightedness?

Long-sightedness is the most common refractory error in childhood. The condition affects around one in four people in the UK.

At Circle Health Group we have the experience and expertise to ensure the best possible care and outcome for our patients. As a patient with Circle Health Group, you can expect the highest standards of care including:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations that are convenient for you
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Private ensuite rooms as standard
  • A range of delicious healthy meals
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to see a consultant or learn more about treatment for long-sightedness, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in March 2023. Next review due March 2026.

  1. Hypermetropia. Long-sightedness, Patient Info
  2. Long-sightedness (hyperopia), The College of Optometrists
  3. Long-sightedness, NHS
  4. Hyperopia, PubMed

Specialists offering Long-sightedness

View all specialists

{{ error }}

Find a specialist