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Refractive Error

Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing directly on the retina. This results in the following common vision problems:


Myopia (nearsightedness) which causes poor distance vision – Myopia occurs when light rays focus in front of the retina because the eye is too long or has excessive focusing power.


Hyperopia (farsightedness) in which distant objects are clear and close up objects appear blurry – Hyperopia occurs when light rays focus behind the retina (because the eye is either too short or has too little focusing power) and causes near and distant objects to appear blurry.


Astigmatism, which results from an irregularly curved cornea and blurs and distorts both distant and near objects – Astigmatism occurs when light rays are distorted because the cornea is curved more in one direction than in the other.


Presbyopia, which is difficulty in reading or seeing at arm’s length, is primarily caused by the aging process.

While presbyopia affects most adults over age 40-45, other refractive errors can affect both children and adults. Blurred vision is the most common symptom of these conditions, although headache, double vision, and halos may also signal a problem.

Refractive errors can be diagnosed with an eye exam from Premier Medical. Treatment may include contact lenses and glasses or refractive surgery such as LASIK.