A refractive error is a very common eye disorder and it’s an imperfection of the eye’s ability to focus light. It occurs when the eye cannot focus clearly and gives blurred vision, which is sometimes so severe that it causes visual impairment.

Refractive errors cannot be prevented, but they can be diagnosed by an eye examination and treated with corrective glasses, contact lenses or myopia control treatments. If corrected in time and by eye-care professionals, they do not impede the full development of good visual function. Correction is provided in different forms according to the defect, the age of the person, the requirements in terms of work of activity performed. 

If you have a refractive error, your eye doctor can prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to help you see clearly.

 

There are 3 common types of refractive errors:

 

Nearsightedness:

This is when you have difficulty seeing distant objects. It occurs when the shape of your eye causes light rays to bend (refract) incorrectly, focusing images in front of your retina instead of on your retina. Near-sightedness can be managed by prescribing glasses, contact lenses, or myopia control treatments.

 

Long-sightedness:

This is when you have difficulty seeing objects that are close to you. It occurs when the eyeball is slightly too short so that the focus point is behind the retina at the back of the eye. Long-sightedness can be managed by prescribing glasses. 

 

Astigmatism:

This is when objects at all distances are blurry. It occurs when either the front surface of your eye (cornea) or the lens, inside your eye, has mismatched curves. Astigmatism can be managed by prescribing glasses, contact lenses, or myopia control treatments.

 

The 4th type of refractive error:

 

Presbyopia:

This is the gradual loss of your eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects. It’s a natural, often annoying part of aging. Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in your early to mid-40s and continues to worsen until around age 65. Presbyopia is usually corrected by using glasses with progressive lenses like bifocal or multi-focal, with powers of suitable focal lengths. The upper part of the lens corrects myopia to see the distant objects clearly for driving. The intermediate part of the lens corrects nearer vision for computers while the lower part of the lens corrects the hypermetropia to see the nearby objects clearly for reading.

 

 

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An Asian Woman wearing Trial glasses


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