The cornea and the lens work together to focus images from the visual world on the back of the eye (the retina). If an image is out of focus, it is typically because the overall shape of the eye is incorrect or the cornea does not have the proper curvature. Farsightedness or hyperopia occurs when the eye is too small or the cornea is too flat. When this happens, visual images are focused behind the retina.
A person with hyperopia is able to see objects at a distance, but has trouble with objects up close, like books or newspapers. Many people are not diagnosed with hyperopia without a complete eye exam. School screenings typically do not discover this condition because they test only for distance vision.
Treatment includes contact lenses or glasses which correct for near vision. Corrective lenses should be worn for near tasks, such as reading, but do not need to be used for distance vision tasks, such as driving.