What Is a Refractive Error?
In refractive error, your eye’s shape cannot bend light properly, leading to blurred images. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (loss of near vision with age), and astigmatism are the most common types of refractive errors.
Symptoms of Refractive Errors
● There is a blurred vision.
● The patient cannot perform tasks that require a close view.
Types of refractive errors:
● Myopia (Clear view of nearby objects, while faraway objects are blurry) Nearsightedness, or myopia, is usually inherited and usually discovered in childhood. Myopia development usually occurs during the teenage years as you get older.
● Hyperopia (blurred view of close objects, while clear view distant objects) is an inherited condition called farsightedness. Hyperopia is common in children, but it may lessen with age. As hyperopia progresses, vision can become blurry overall.
● Presbyopia (aging of the eye’s lens)
As we get older, our lenses become more rigid and less flexible. Due to this, the eye loses its ability to focus, and reading at close range becomes more difficult. Myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism can also accompany this normal aging process of the lens. Watch a video explaining presbyopia(link is external).
● Astigmatism (as the name implies, this is a condition in which the cornea appears to have an asymmetric curvature). A cornea with astigmatism has a more curved front surface than a cornea with an uncurved front surface.
In this case, the vision may look like a distorted, wavy mirror. When an individual suffers from astigmatism, their vision is usually blurry at all distances.
Diagnosis and Testing
Routine eye exams can diagnose refractive errors. In most cases, a patient is asked to read a vision chart while an assortment of lenses are chosen to maximize their vision. There is rarely a need for imaging or testing.
Medications and Treatment
Refractive disorders are commonly treated with corrective lenses such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgery (like LASIK or SMILE) can also correct some refractive disorders. It is possible to treat presbyopia with over-the-counter reading glasses. Presbyopia cannot be slowed down or reversed.