Skip to Content


Farsightedness is greater difficulty seeing near objects than distant objects.

Causes of Farsightedness

Farsightedness is the result of the visual image being focused behind the retina rather than directly on it. It may be caused by the eyeball being too small or the focusing power being too weak.

Farsightedness is often present from birth, but children have a very flexible eye lens, which helps make up for the problem. As aging occurs, glasses or contact lenses may be required to correct the vision. If you have family members who are farsighted, you are also more likely to become farsighted.

Farsightedness Symptoms

  • Aching eyes
  • Blurred vision when looking at close objects
  • Crossed eyes (strabismus) in some children
  • Eye strain
  • Headache while reading

Mild farsightedness may not cause any problems, but you may need reading glasses.

Tests and Exams

A general eye examination to diagnose farsightedness may include the following tests:

This list is not all-inclusive.

Treatment of Farsightedness

Farsightedness is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Surgery is available for correcting farsightedness in adults, and can be used for those who do not wish to wear glasses or contacts.

Prognosis (Outlook)

The outcome is expected to be good.

Potential Complications

Farsightedness can be a risk factor for glaucoma and crossed eyes.

When to Contact a Health Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider or ophthalmologist if symptoms of farsightedness develop and you have not had an eye examination recently.

Also, call if vision begins to get worse after you have been diagnosed with farsightedness.

If you have been diagnosed with farsightedness or suspect you may have farsightedness and you suddenly develop severe eye pain, eye redness, or decreased vision you should see your eye doctor immediately.


Katz M, Kruger PB. The human eye as an optical system. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:chap 33.

Related Images

Review Date: 8/17/2014
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2015 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.