Farsightedness may mean:

  • Nearby objects may appear blurry
  • You need to squint to see clearly
  • You have eyestrain, including burning eyes, and aching in or around the eyes
  • You experience general eye discomfort or a headache after a prolonged interval of doing close tasks, such as reading, writing, computer work or drawing

When to see a doctor

If your degree of farsightedness is pronounced enough that you can't perform a task as well as you wish, or if your quality of vision detracts from your enjoyment of activities, see an eye doctor. He or she can determine the degree of your farsightedness and advise you of options to correct your vision.

Since it may not always be readily apparent that you're having trouble with your vision, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following intervals for regular eye exams:

Adults

If you don't wear glasses or contacts, have no symptoms of eye trouble and are at a low risk of developing eye diseases, such as glaucoma, it's recommended that you have a baseline eye exam around age 40, and then at the following intervals.

  • Every two to four years between 40 and 54 years
  • Every one to three years between 55 and 64 years
  • Every one to two years beginning at age 65

If you're at high risk of certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma, the frequency of visits should be increased to:

  • Every two to four years up to age 40
  • Every one to three years between 40 and 54 years
  • Every one to two years from age 55 onward

If you wear glasses or contacts, you'll likely need to have your eyes checked every year. Ask your eye doctor how frequently you need to schedule your appointments. But, if you notice any problems with your vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible, even if you've recently had an eye exam. Blurred vision, for example, may suggest you need a prescription change, or it could be a sign of another problem.

Children and adolescents

Children need to be screened for eye disease and have their vision tested by a pediatrician, an ophthalmologist or another trained screener during the newborn period, and then at every routine health exam throughout early childhood.

Additionally, it's recommended that school-age children be screened at school or through community programs approximately every two years to check for vision problems.

Apr. 24, 2012

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