Eye hospital in Ernakulam

Refractive Error


A refractive error is an error in the focusing of light by the eye and a frequent reason for reduced visual acuity. Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing directly on the retina. The length of the eyeball (longer or shorter), changes in the shape of the cornea, or aging of the lens can cause refractive errors.

TYPES OF REFRACTIVE ERRORS:

The most common types of refractive errors are myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism.

  • MYOPIA (nearsightedness) is a condition in which close objects appear clearly, while objects far away appear blurred. In myopia, light comes to focus in front of the retina instead of on the retina.
  • HYPEROPIA (farsightedness) is a common type of refractive error where distant objects may be seen more clearly than objects that are near. However, people experience hyperopia differently. Some people may not notice any problems with their vision, especially when they are young. For people with significant hyperopia, vision can be blurry for objects at any distance, near or far.
  • ASTIGMATISM is a condition in which the eye does not focus light evenly onto the retina. This can cause images to appear blurry and stretched out. This abnormality may result in vision that is much like looking into a distorted, wavy mirror. Usually, astigmatism causes blurred vision at all distances.
  • PRESBYOPIA is an age-related condition in which the ability to focus close range becomes more difficult. As the age increases, the lens can no longer change shape enough to allow the eye to focus close objects clearly.

SYMPTOMS:

Blurred vision is the most common symptom of refractive errors. Other symptoms may include:

  • Double vision
  • Haziness
  • Glare or halos around bright lights
  • Squinting
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain

DIAGNOSIS:

An eye care professional can diagnose refractive errors during a comprehensive dilated eye examination. People with a refractive error often visit their eye care professional with complaints of visual discomfort or blurred vision. However, some people don’t know they aren’t seeing as clearly as they could.

Authored by Dr.S Tony Fernandez

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