Is Being Farsighted Genetic? Know Your Potential Risks

Latest Posts

Table of Contents

Is Being Farsighted Genetic? Know Your Risks

Date of Content: March 1, 2024
Written by: Jess Gayo
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD


Overview of Farsightedness

What is Farsightedness?

Ever found yourself squinting to read a menu or struggling to focus on objects up close? You might be experiencing the effects of farsightedness, also known as hyperopia. Farsightedness, scientifically termed hyperopia, is a refractive error characterized by difficulty focusing on nearby objects while maintaining clear vision of distant ones and it can affect individuals of all ages.

This condition stems from an anatomical discrepancy in the eye’s optical system, where either the cornea (the eye’s outermost layer) or the eye’s length is insufficiently curved or shortened, causing light rays to converge behind the retina rather than directly on it. 

According to scientific data, farsightedness affects approximately 5-10% of the global population, making it a prevalent visual impairment. Symptoms of hyperopia may include eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision when performing tasks requiring close focus, such as reading or computer work. 

While hyperopia is often hereditary, other contributing factors may include age-related changes in the eye’s structure. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of farsightedness is crucial for both diagnosis and treatment.


Why Does the Eye Develop Farsightedness?

Farsightedness occurs when light entering the eye focuses behind the retina instead of directly on it, leading to difficulty in focusing on close-up objects. This condition arises from an anatomical irregularity within the eye’s optical system. 

In a normal eye, light passes through the cornea (the eye’s clear front surface) and the lens, converging precisely on the retina, where images are formed and sent to the brain for interpretation. However, in hyperopic eyes, the cornea is too flat or the eyeball is too short, causing the focal point to fall behind the retina.

Several factors contribute to the development of hyperopia. Genetics plays a significant role, as individuals with a family history of farsightedness are more likely to experience it themselves. Additionally, age-related changes in the eye’s structure can exacerbate hyperopia, particularly as the lens loses its flexibility, making it harder to focus on close objects. 

Understanding the mechanisms behind hyperopia is crucial for effective treatment. Corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses, adjust the way light enters the eye, compensating for the refractive error and allowing for clearer vision. Surgical interventions reshape the cornea to improve its focusing ability, offering a more permanent solution for some individuals.

Overall, while the precise cause of hyperopia may vary from person to person, a combination of genetic predisposition and age-related changes in the eye’s structure underlies its development. Through advancements in optometry and ophthalmology, various treatment options are available to address farsightedness and enhance visual acuity.

What Can Affect Your Risks for Farsightedness?

Genetic factors play a significant role in the development of farsightedness, or hyperopia. Studies suggest that individuals with a family history of hyperopia are more likely to experience this refractive error themselves. 

By examining specific genetic markers associated with eye structure and function, researchers aim to uncover the underlying genetic mechanisms contributing to farsightedness. Understanding these genetic factors is crucial for identifying individuals at risk and developing targeted interventions for optimal vision health.

Genetic Factors

A 2014 study conducted a comprehensive analysis of genetic factors influencing myopia and hyperopia, revealing significant associations at specific genetic locations.

Notably, chromosomes 8q12 and 15q14 emerged as regions linked to refractive errors and especially hyperopia. An intergenic SNP, rs10089517 on chromosome 8q12, showed a significant association with hyperopia, as well as a locus on chromosome 15q14 with a SNP rs524952.

A more recent, 2021 study aimed to investigate whether the same genetic variants contribute to susceptibility to low myopia (LM), high myopia (HM), and hyperopia, which is crucial for understanding refractive error genetics and clinical implications. In this study, researchers analyzed data from UK Biobank participants aged 40 to 69 of European and Asian ancestry.

Four genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were conducted, comparing HM, LM, and hyperopia to emmetropia (normal vision). Polygenic risk scores were generated and evaluated in independent replication samples. Results showed that many genetic risk variants were shared across HM, LM, and hyperopia, indicating a polygenic contribution to refractive error.

Genetic variants near genes like PRSS56 (rs2741297), and LAMA2 (rs12193446), among others, were found to be associated with hyperopia. PRSS56 gene encodes a protein that contains a peptidase S1 domain and possesses trypsin-like serine protease activity. The encoded protein may play a role in eye development.

LAMA2 encodes for laminin, an extracellular protein that is a major component of the basement membrane. It is thought to mediate the attachment, migration, and organization of cells into tissues during embryonic development.

Both of these studies provide valuable insights into the genetic basis of refractive errors across diverse populations, supporting the importance of polygenic factors in shaping vision outcomes. Treatments targeting genes and the common genetic variants associated with refractive error could benefit individuals with refractive errors.

Environmental Factors

While genetics play a significant role in the development of farsightedness, environmental factors can also influence an individual’s likelihood of experiencing hyperopia. Understanding these external influences is crucial for comprehensive vision care. Here are several environmental factors supported by scientific research that may impact the onset and progression of farsightedness.

  1. Near-Work Activities: Prolonged engagement in close-up tasks, such as reading, writing, or using digital devices, has been linked to an increased risk of developing hyperopia. The constant accommodation required to focus on near objects may contribute to changes in the eye’s structure over time, leading to refractive errors.
  2. Educational Environment: Studies suggest that individuals with higher levels of education may have a greater prevalence of farsightedness. This association is partly attributed to increased exposure to near-work activities during schooling years, emphasizing the importance of promoting healthy visual habits in educational settings.
  3. Outdoor Time: Spending time outdoors, particularly during childhood, has been associated with a reduced risk of developing farsightedness. Natural outdoor lighting and the distant viewing inherent in outdoor environments may help in the development and maintenance of optimal visual acuity, offering protective benefits against hyperopia.
  4. Urbanization and Environmental Pollution: Urban environments characterized by high pollution levels and limited green spaces have been correlated with an increased prevalence of refractive errors, including hyperopia. Air pollutants and indoor toxins may contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation within the eye, potentially impacting visual development.
  5. Nutritional Factors: Adequate nutrition, particularly during critical periods of ocular development, plays a vital role in maintaining healthy vision. Studies suggest that deficiencies in certain nutrients, such as vitamin D, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids, may be associated with an increased risk of farsightedness. Conversely, a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and essential nutrients may offer protective benefits against refractive errors.
  6. Parental Socioeconomic Status: Socioeconomic factors, including parental education level and household income, have been linked to the prevalence of farsightedness among children. Higher socioeconomic status is often associated with access to better healthcare services, nutritional resources, and educational opportunities, all of which can influence visual development and eye health outcomes.

Understanding the interplay between genetic predisposition and environmental factors is essential for implementing effective preventive measures and promoting optimal eye health. 

By addressing modifiable environmental influences, such as promoting outdoor activities, encouraging healthy visual habits, and ensuring access to nutritious foods, we can work towards reducing the burden of farsightedness and improving overall vision outcomes for individuals worldwide.

What are the Symptoms of Farsightedness?

Farsightedness, or hyperopia, manifests in various symptoms that can impact daily activities and overall quality of life. While the severity of symptoms may vary among individuals, common signs of farsightedness include:

  • Blurred Vision: Farsighted individuals often experience blurred vision when attempting to focus on nearby objects, such as reading or using digital devices. This blurriness results from light rays converging behind the retina rather than directly on it.
  • Eyestrain: Straining to see objects up close is a hallmark symptom of farsightedness. Individuals may notice discomfort or fatigue in the eyes, particularly after prolonged periods of near-work.
  • Headaches: Farsightedness can cause headaches, especially during activities that require sustained focus on close-up tasks. The extra effort required to overcome refractive errors can lead to tension headaches or migraines.
  • Difficulty with Near-Tasks: Tasks that demand precise near vision, such as reading small print or threading a needle, may become increasingly challenging for individuals with farsightedness. This difficulty arises from the eye’s inability to focus properly on nearby objects.
  • Eye Fatigue: Farsighted individuals may experience eye fatigue or discomfort, particularly after extended periods of reading or performing close-up work. This fatigue results from the constant strain placed on the eye muscles to compensate for refractive errors.
  • Squinting: Squinting is an instinct that individuals with farsightedness may employ to temporarily improve vision by narrowing the eye’s aperture and reducing the amount of unfocused light entering the eye.

Recognizing these symptoms is essential for prompt diagnosis and appropriate management of farsightedness. If you experience any of these signs, schedule an eye examination with an optometrist or ophthalmologist to assess your vision and explore treatment options tailored to your needs.

Is it Normal for Menstrual Cycles to Change?

Yes, it is normal for menstrual cycles to change over time and to vary from month to month. Scientific research indicates that fluctuations in menstrual cycle length and pattern are common occurrences in many women’s reproductive lives.

Several factors can contribute to changes in menstrual cycles, including hormonal fluctuations, stress levels, lifestyle habits, age, and underlying health conditions. For example, during adolescence and perimenopause, hormonal shifts can cause irregular cycles as the body adjusts to changes in hormone levels. Additionally, fluctuations in weight, exercise habits, and stress levels can impact the regularity of menstrual cycles.

While occasional changes in menstrual cycles are generally normal, significant or persistent alterations may warrant further evaluation by a healthcare provider. Irregularities such as unusually short or long cycles, missed periods, or excessive bleeding could be indicative of underlying health concerns that require medical attention.

Understanding that menstrual cycles can change over time helps individuals better navigate their reproductive health journey. By monitoring and tracking menstrual cycles and seeking medical guidance when needed, individuals can maintain optimal reproductive health and overall well-being.

Is Farsightedness a Disability?

Hyperopia is generally not considered a disability in the traditional sense. While this condition can significantly impact daily activities such as reading or computer work, it typically does not cause severe impairment to overall functioning.

However, in certain cases where hyperopia is accompanied by other vision disorders or underlying medical conditions, such as amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (eye misalignment), it may be classified as a visual impairment and potentially qualify for disability accommodations. 

Additionally, individuals with high degrees of hyperopia that cannot be adequately corrected with glasses or contact lenses may face limitations in certain professions or activities requiring precise near vision, such as microscopy or fine detailed work.

Whether farsightedness is considered a disability depends on the severity of the condition, its impact on daily functioning, and individual circumstances. With appropriate corrective measures and accommodations, many individuals with hyperopia can effectively manage their condition and lead fulfilling lives.

Is Farsightedness the Same as Presbyopia?

Hyperopia and presbyopia are two distinct vision conditions, although they share similarities in their effects on near vision. Farsightedness occurs when light entering the eye focuses behind the retina instead of directly on it, causing difficulty in focusing on close-up objects. This condition typically arises due to an anatomical irregularity in the eye’s optical system, such as a flat cornea or a shortened eyeball.

Presbyopia, on the other hand, is an age-related condition that affects near vision, typically beginning around the age of 40. It occurs when the natural lens of the eye gradually loses its flexibility, making it harder to focus on close-up objects. Unlike farsightedness, which can affect individuals of all ages, presbyopia is specifically linked to aging and is a natural part of the aging process.

While both hyperopia and presbyopia can cause difficulty with near vision, they have different underlying causes and onset mechanisms. Farsightedness (hyperopia) is primarily a refractive error, whereas presbyopia is a result of age-related changes in the eye’s structure. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of these vision conditions.

Is Farsightedness Permanent?

Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is typically not a permanent condition, as it can be effectively managed and corrected through various treatment options. Corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses, are commonly prescribed to individuals with hyperopia to adjust the way light enters the eye, compensating for the refractive error and improving visual acuity.

Additionally, surgical interventions like LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) can reshape the cornea, correcting refractive errors and reducing or eliminating the need for corrective lenses in some cases. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of surgical procedures may vary depending on individual factors such as the degree of hyperopia and overall eye health.

While farsightedness can be effectively managed and corrected, it may persist or worsen over time, particularly as individuals age and experience changes in their eyes’ structure. Regular eye exams are essential for monitoring changes in vision and ensuring appropriate management strategies are implemented to maintain optimal visual acuity. 

Overall, while farsightedness may not be permanent, ongoing management and care are necessary to address this common refractive error effectively.

Different Treatments for Farsightedness

Effective management of farsightedness, or hyperopia, involves various treatment options aimed at improving visual acuity and quality of life. Here, we explore several scientifically validated treatments for farsightedness, each offering unique benefits and considerations.


Prescription eyeglasses are a common and highly effective treatment for farsightedness. Concave lenses are prescribed to correct hyperopia by bending light rays inward, allowing them to focus directly on the retina. Eyeglasses offer a simple and non-invasive solution for individuals with hyperopia, providing clear vision for both near and distant objects.

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are another popular option for correcting farsightedness. Like eyeglasses, contact lenses use convex lenses to adjust the way light enters the eye, compensating for the refractive error. Contact lenses offer advantages such as improved peripheral vision and freedom from glasses, although proper care and hygiene are essential to minimize the risk of eye infections.

Refractive Surgery

Refractive surgeries, such as LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), offer a more permanent solution for correcting farsightedness. These procedures reshape the cornea, altering its curvature to improve the eye’s focusing ability. Refractive surgery can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for corrective lenses, providing long-term visual clarity for many individuals with hyperopia.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

RLE is a surgical procedure commonly used to treat farsightedness, particularly in individuals with significant refractive errors or age-related changes in the lens. During RLE, the eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that corrects the refractive error. RLE offers predictable and stable vision outcomes, making it a viable option for individuals seeking permanent correction of hyperopia.


Orthokeratology, or ortho-k, involves the use of specialized rigid gas-permeable contact lenses worn overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea.

This non-surgical approach offers temporary correction of farsightedness, providing clear vision throughout the day without the need for corrective lenses. Ortho-k is particularly popular among individuals seeking alternative treatment options or those ineligible for refractive surgery.

By understanding the diverse range of treatment options available for farsightedness, individuals can work closely with their eye care professionals to choose the most suitable approach based on their unique needs, lifestyle, and preferences. 

Regular eye exams are essential for monitoring vision changes and ensuring optimal management of hyperopia for long-term eye health and visual well-being.

LifeDNA’s Farsightedness Trait Report

Unlock the secrets to a healthier, more vibrant life with LifeDNA’s Farsightedness Trait Report. Our scientifically-backed Wellness Report delves into your unique genetic profile, providing personalized insights into your predisposition to farsightedness and other wellness factors.

Understanding your genetic makeup empowers you to make informed decisions about your health, ensuring that you’re equipped with the knowledge to optimize your well-being.

But that’s just the beginning. With LifeDNA, you can access a comprehensive suite of trait reports, including our Diet and DNA Damage, Longevity, and Smoking Behavior & Nicotine Dependence Trait Reports. Explore the full spectrum of your genetic predispositions, from nutrition and fitness to sleep patterns and cognitive traits, with over 200 trait reports available across seven main categories.

Whether you’re looking to improve your vision, fine-tune your diet, or uncover the secrets to a longer, healthier life, LifeDNA has you covered. Take the first step on your wellness journey today and unlock the power of your genetic insights. Join LifeDNA and embark on a personalized path to optimal health and vitality.


  • Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is a common refractive error characterized by difficulty in focusing on nearby objects while maintaining a clear vision of distant ones.
  • Anatomical discrepancies in the eye’s optical system, such as a flat cornea or a shortened eyeball, cause light rays to converge behind the retina instead of directly on it, leading to hyperopia.
  • Hyperopia affects approximately 5-10% of the global population and can cause symptoms like eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision when performing tasks requiring close focus.
  • While genetics play a significant role in hyperopia for all ages, age-related changes in the eye’s structure can also contribute to its development.
  • Research suggests that genetic risk variants are shared across high myopia, low myopia, and hyperopia, indicating a polygenic contribution to refractive error.
  • Environmental factors such as near-work activities, educational environment, outdoor time, urbanization, nutritional factors, and parental socioeconomic status can influence the onset and progression of hyperopia.
  • Symptoms of hyperopia include blurred vision, eyestrain, headaches, difficulty with near tasks, eye fatigue, and squinting.
  • While hyperopia is not typically considered a disability, individuals with severe hyperopia may face limitations in certain professions or activities requiring precise near vision.
  • Hyperopia should not be confused with presbyopia, an age-related condition affecting near vision due to changes in the eye’s natural lens.
  • Hyperopia can be effectively managed and corrected through treatments like eyeglasses, contact lenses, refractive surgery, refractive lens exchange, and orthokeratology.
  • Regular eye exams are essential for monitoring changes in vision and ensuring appropriate management strategies for hyperopia.



Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.