Complications of long-sightedness 

Adults rarely have complications as a result of long-sightedness (hyperopia). In children, severe hyperopia can cause them to 'over-focus', leading to double vision and two other eye conditions.

Long-sightedness in adults (presbyopia) is likely to get worse with age. However, a prescription for stronger glasses or contact lenses will enable most people to retain normal vision.

In children, severe long-sightedness can cause them to "over-focus" and experience double vision. This can lead to one eye turning away, resulting in a squint or lazy eye. 

Squint (strabismus)

A squint (strabismus) is where the eyes are not properly aligned with each other, so they both focus on different things.

It can lead to problems judging how far away objects are from you (depth perception). It can also cause your brain to ignore the output of one eye, which can weaken the eye and lead to a lazy eye (see below).

Read more information about a squint.

Lazy eye (amblyopia)  

Lazy eye (amblyopia) is where one eye becomes dominant over the other, either as a result of strabismus or another eye condition, such as cataracts (cloudy patches in the lens of the eye).

If a child only uses one eye to focus, their other eye will get weaker. If left untreated, the weaker eye could eventually lose all of its vision.

Read more about lazy eye.

Treating strabismus and amblyopia

Strabismus and ambylopia can usually be treated by making the child wear a patch over their stronger eye. This forces their brain to start using the weaker eye, thereby making it stronger.

Glasses can also be prescribed to help balance the vision of both eyes. In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to realign or strengthen the muscles of the eye.


Page last reviewed: 09/07/2014

Next review due: 09/07/2016