What are Refractive Errors?
Normally, the eye creates a clear image because the cornea and the lens bend, or refract, incoming light rays and focus them on the retina. The shape of the cornea cannot change, but the lens changes shape to focus on objects at various distances from the eye. Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eyeball or cornea doesn?t allow the refracted light to focus on the retina perfectly. The most common types of refractive disorders are nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
What are the different types of Refractive Errors?
- Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, occurs when the eyeball is longer than normal. This means that light is focused in front of the retina, which makes it very difficult to see things clearly that are far away. About 20% of the population has myopia. It is inherited and is often discovered in children when they are 8 to 12 years old. As the body grows during the teenage years, myopia often gets worse; between the ages of 20 and 40, there is little change.
- Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, occurs when the eyeball is shorter than normal. This means that light is focused behind the retina, which makes it very difficult to see objects that are up close. Like myopia, hyperopia is often inherited and is most commonly found in babies and young children. As the eye gets larger with growth, hyperopia usually lessens.
- Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped irregularly. A normal cornea is perfectly round, but in the astigmatic eye, the cornea has a more pointed shape and looks like a football. The most common symptom of astigmatism is blurry vision. People are often born with astigmatism and it does not worsen with age.
- Presbyopia occurs as people age. After the age of 40, the lens in the eye become less flexible and doesn’t change shape as easily. It becomes difficult to read at close distances. Presbyopia can occur in combination with myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism.
How are refractive errors corrected?
Corrective lenses, like glasses or contacts, refocus light rays on the retina, compensating for the shape of the eye. Laser surgery is another option. The Eye Centers of Racine and Kenosha have developed a brochure, Options for Seeing Clearly that describes choices for correcting refractive errors.
Any time you are not seeing clearly, you should immediately call for an appointment with an eye care professional. Symptoms of Refractive Errors
When you have difficulty seeing either far away or up close, you are probably experience some sort of refractive error. Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eyeball or cornea doesn’t allow the refracted light to focus on the retina perfectly. The most common types of refractive disorders are nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
Do You Have Refractive Errors?
The best way to find out exactly what’s causing your vision problems is to make an appointment with an eye care professional. At The Eye Centers of Racine and Kenosha, we will check your eyes thoroughly to understand the reasons for your vision problems. And we’ll explain your choices for correcting the problems.
Here at The Eye Centers of Racine & Kenosha we keep up to date on new research and new treatments. Call 262 637 0500 today! to scheduled your appointment.
Have a question? ASK US
Take your first step toward clearer vision.