Hypermetropia and presbyopia are both forms of refractive error and cause blurred vision. They have different causes and require different treatments.

Are objects far away or nearby starting to look blurry? There are a lot of conditions that can cause this symptom, and two of the most common are hypermetropia and presbyopia.

Read on to learn more about these conditions and the differences between them.

Many of the symptoms of hypermetropia and presbyopia are similar. However, there are some key differences.

Hypermetropia symptoms

Symptoms of hypermetropia include:

  • eyestrain or fatigue
  • blurry vision when looking at items that are close to you or at a distance, which may come on suddenly
  • headache
  • eyes that look in inward or to one side (eye deviation)
  • dim vision, especially when looking at nearby items
  • feeling like your eyes are crossed
  • eye inflammation or redness

Presbyopia symptoms

Common symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • blurry vision when you try to look at something up close
  • eyestrain or fatigue
  • headache
  • needing to hold reading materials far away

Although hypermetropia and presbyopia have similar symptoms, their underlying causes are very different. While hypermetropia has several potential causes, presbyopia only has one.

Hypermetropia causes

Hypermetropia happens when your eyeball is too short from front to back, so light is focused behind your retina instead of on it. This is what causes objects further away to look blurry. You might also have hypermetropia if the shape of your lens or cornea focuses light behind your retina.

Most people who have hypermetropia are born with it. However, eye trauma or eye disease can also cause hypermetropia symptoms.

Presbyopia causes

The cause of presbyopia is aging. As you get older, the lens of your eye becomes more rigid, so it doesn’t focus light exactly on your retina as well as it did before.

Aging also means that the lens of your eye can’t change shape as well, which makes it harder to focus on things both close up and far away.

Many children first realize they’re having trouble seeing far-away objects while in school; in some cases, a teacher might be the one who notices. Older adults may first notice problems when they’re trying to read a book or newspaper.

You should consider contacting an eye doctor if blurry vision is interfering with any part of your daily life. They can do a full exam to find out the cause and get you the right treatment.

If you have a sudden change in your vision, contact a doctor right away because it could mean there’s a more serious problem.

An eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist is the best way to diagnose both hypermetropia and presbyopia. This exam may include:

  • reading letters of different sizes and at different distances
  • dilating your eyes, which helps your doctor see inside your eyes
  • checking your eye muscles by having you follow an object with just your eyes
  • checking how well your pupils react to light
  • testing how well you can see objects to the side of your face (peripheral vision)
  • measuring the pressure inside your eye

Treatment for both hypermetropia and presbyopia is dependent on the severity of your symptoms. Some people may get relief with conservative treatment, while others may need more extensive treatment.

Hypermetropia treatment

If you have minor hypermetropia, you may not need any treatment. But if your hypermetropia gets worse, treatment may include:

LASIK and lens replacement surgeries are only recommended once your eye stops growing, which will usually happen in your 20s.

Presbyopia treatment

If your presbyopia is minor, you can try:

  • using a large print or increased font size
  • holding objects further away to read them
  • use a brighter light when you read

If your presbyopia gets more severe, glasses or contact lenses can help ease your symptoms. For some people, over-the-counter reading glasses will be enough.

You cannot prevent either hypermetropia or presbyopia. Most people with hypermetropia are born with it, and your risk increases if someone else in your family has the condition.

Presbyopia, meanwhile, happens to everyone to some degree after about 45 years of age.

Hyperopia is another word for farsightedness. In short, it’s the same thing as hypermetropia.

This means that hyperopia also causes things close and far to look blurry, and it can also be treated with glasses or contact lenses in most cases.

Unlike presbyopia, which develops as you age, most people with hyperopia are born with this condition.

Myopia is nearsightedness, which makes objects that are far away look blurry. In some ways, it can be considered the inverse of hypermetropia and presbyopia, which make things close to you look blurry.

Myopia happens when the shape of your eye causes it to focus light in front of your retina instead of on it.

Although myopia is different than hypermetropia, it has some similar symptoms, including eye fatigue and headaches. It can also cause you to squint to try to see things that are far away.

In most cases, myopia can be treated with glasses or contact lenses. However, refractive surgeries like LASIK can eliminate the need for these by changing the shape of your eye.

Astigmatism is a condition that causes objects both close to you and far away to become blurry. This happens because your eye becomes oval-shaped instead of round.

You can have astigmatism with hypermetropia, presbyopia, or myopia, but it’s a separate condition from all of them.

Your risk of having astigmatism is higher if your parents have this condition, but an eye injury, eye disease, or eye surgery can also cause it.

Besides blurry vision, other symptoms of astigmatism include headaches, trouble seeing at night, and eyestrain. It can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, or surgeries like LASIK.

Hypermetropia and presbyopia both cause blurry vision when looking at objects up close. If you’re young or have had this issue for a long time and also have blurred distance vision, hypermetropia is the likely cause. If you’re older than 45 and have newly blurry vision, presbyopia is likely.

No matter how old you are, it’s recommended you see a doctor if your vision has started to become blurry so they can find the underlying cause and help you find the right treatment.