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What is hypermetropia (or hyperopia as the Americans call it)?

Many people suffer from mild to moderate hypermetropia, or long-sight, and sometimes also have astigmatism. Hypermetropia is generally a result of the eyeball being fractionally too short to allow light rays to be focussed correctly at the back of the eye, whilst astigmatism is an optical defect created when the shape of the cornea is not perfectly round. The cornea is the major optical surface of the eye and any small distortion of its shape will blur the image on the retina at the back of the eye.

Contact lenses

A soft contact lens can bring the retinal image back into focus by creating an artificial surface of a different curvature to the cornea. To correct long sightedness the surface of the contact lens must be steeper than that of the cornea which it is sitting on. If astigmatism is also present, the soft contact lens needs to be of a more complex curve.

Surgical correction of hypermetropia

Hypermetropia may be corrected by a variety of surgical techniques. For mild degrees of hypermetropia or hypermetropic astigmatism, LASIK surgery is often the best approach. Alternatively a variety of intra-ocular procedures can be used such as insertion of an implantable contact lens (ICL), or an Artisan lens. Sometimes the natural lens of the eye is removed by clear lens extraction with implantation of an intra-ocular lens implant. The various lens implantation procedures may also be accompanied my LASIK treatment, the combination surgery being referred to as BiOptics.


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