Is Farsightedness Worse With Age?

Is Farsightedness Worse With Age?

Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a common vision condition where distant objects appear clear, but near objects become blurry. This happens because the eyeball is slightly shorter than normal, or the cornea has a curvature that prevents light from focusing directly on the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye. Many people wonder if farsightedness gets worse with age. The answer depends on the individual, but this article will explore the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and how farsightedness might change as we age.

What Causes Farsightedness?

There are three main reasons why someone might be farsighted:

  • Genetics:  Farsightedness often runs in families, so if your parents or siblings have it, you're more likely to develop it as well.
  • Eye shape:  An eyeball that's too short can prevent light rays from focusing correctly on the retina.
  • Eye muscles:  Weak or imbalanced eye muscles can struggle to adjust the lens for near vision.

Common Symptoms of Farsightedness:

  • Difficulty seeing objects up close, like reading a book or using a phone
  • Eyestrain and headaches, especially after focusing on near objects for extended periods
  • Squinting to see clearly
  • Difficulty reading small print

Treatment Options for Sharp Vision:

The good news is that farsightedness is easily correctable with several options:

Glasses:  The most common correction for farsightedness. Lenses with positive power help focus light rays on the retina, providing clear near vision.

Contact lenses:  Similar to glasses, they provide clear vision without the need for frames. There are also specific toric contact lenses designed to address astigmatism, which can sometimes co-occur with farsightedness.

Refractive surgery:  In some cases, laser procedures can permanently reshape the cornea to improve focus. This is typically an option for adults with stable prescriptions.

Does Farsightedness Get Worse With Age?

The impact of age on farsightedness varies:

Children and young adults:  Farsightedness may gradually worsen as the eye and its focusing mechanisms develop.

Adults (20+):  Progression usually slows down or stops after age 20. Some people experience minimal change throughout their lives.

Presbyopia:  Around age 40, most people develop presbyopia, a condition that makes it difficult to focus on near objects due to a less flexible lens. This is not the same as farsightedness worsening, but it can feel similar because both near-vision tasks become more challenging.

Visit our farsighted collection and for more insights on eye care and vision correction, read our article on What Is Farsightedness And How Can Contacts Correct It?

Understanding Astigmatism: A Blurry Twist

Astigmatism is another common vision condition that can sometimes occur alongside farsightedness. It happens when the cornea or lens has an irregular curvature, bending light unevenly and creating a distorted image on the retina. This can cause blurry vision at all distances.

Does Astigmatism Worsen With Age?

Similar to farsightedness, the effect of age on astigmatism can vary:

  • With-the-rule astigmatism: This type often worsens slightly with age, causing more pronounced blur.
  • Against-the-rule astigmatism: May even improve slightly due to pressure from the eyelids.
  • Rapid changes: Any rapid change in astigmatism severity warrants a visit to your eye doctor to rule out other potential issues.

Correcting Astigmatism for Clear Vision:

Glasses: The primary treatment. Lenses with a cylindrical shape compensate for the irregular curvature in your eye, correcting the blurry vision caused by astigmatism.

Toric contact lenses: These are specially designed to address astigmatism and provide clearer vision.

Living Well with Farsightedness and Astigmatism

Both farsightedness and astigmatism are manageable with proper care. Here are some key takeaways:

Regular eye exams: Schedule regular eye exams with your optometrist or ophthalmologist to monitor your vision and ensure your prescription remains effective, especially as you age.

Proper eye care habits: Reading in good light, taking breaks from screens, and maintaining good overall health can help manage your vision health.

Treatment options: Glasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery offer effective solutions for clear and comfortable vision.

By understanding the factors influencing farsightedness and addressing common concerns about its progression with age, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their eye health and quality of life. 

If you have further questions or concerns about farsightedness, consult with an optometrist or ophthalmologist for personalized guidance and treatment recommendations.


Is farsightedness present from birth? 

Yes, it can be, but it's often not diagnosed until later in childhood or even adulthood.

Can glasses completely correct farsightedness? 

Glasses or contact lenses can effectively correct farsightedness, especially in mild to moderate cases.

Can farsightedness develop later in life?

Yes, farsightedness can develop or worsen at any age, but it often becomes more noticeable with age.

Can farsightedness be prevented?

While you can't prevent farsightedness, regular eye exams and early intervention can help manage the condition effectively.

Do lifestyle habits affect farsightedness?

Certain lifestyle habits, such as reading in low light or excessive screen time, can exacerbate symptoms of farsightedness. Practicing good eye hygiene can help alleviate discomfort.

Are there age-related factors that contribute to farsightedness?

Yes, changes in eye structure and function as we age can contribute to the progression of farsightedness. Regular eye check-ups are essential for monitoring these changes and adjusting treatment accordingly.

Can farsightedness be corrected permanently?

Refractive surgery, such as LASIK, offers a permanent solution for correcting farsightedness in some cases. However, it's essential to consult with an eye care professional to determine the most suitable treatment option.

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