Refractive Errors

Refractive Errors

What is a Refractive Error?

A refractive error is a very common condition that affects the clarity of vision at different points of focus due to the shape of the eye. The most common are nearsightedness (or myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism and presbyopia.

Myopia (nearsightedness) is a vision condition affecting nearly a third of people in the United States. A myopic eye focuses properly on nearby objects while distant objects appear blurry. This imbalance typically occurs because the cornea either has an oblong shape or is excessively curved, allowing only some of the light entering the eye to focus on the retina. The most common symptom is difficulty seeing objects in the distance, for example a sign on the highway or your TV. Myopia usually develops before the age of 20.

Hyperopia (farsightedness) occurs when the cornea is too flat or irregularly shaped, causing nearby objects to appear blurry while objects in the distance are clear. Common signs of hyperopia include difficulty maintaining a clear focus on nearby objects, and eyestrain or headache after close work.

Presbyopia is a natural change in our eyes ability to focus. It occurs when the soft crystalline lens of the eye starts to harden. This loss of flexibility affects the lens’ ability to focus light in the eye, causing nearby objects to look blurry. Presbyopia occurs in individuals during their 40s or 50s, even in patients who have had laser vision correction. The effects of presbyopia can be corrected either with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. There are several surgical options including the KAMRA Inlay, multifocal lens implantation and monovision LASIK. Laser surgeries such as conventional LASIK and PRK cannot correct presbyopia because these types of refractive surgery only reshape the cornea rather than treat the lens.

Astigmatism is a condition in which the cornea is oblong rather than spherical in shape. This irregular curvature prevents light from focusing properly on the retina. As a result, objects that are close or at a distance may appear blurry or doubled. Astigmatism can cause headaches, eyestrain, fatigue, and blurred or distorted vision. Most people have some degree of astigmatism, which often occurs in combination with myopia or hyperopia. Regular astigmatism is found in 30-40% of people who wear glasses.

Vision Correction in Rochester, NY

Your vision can be improved through glasses or contact lenses by visiting our optical department. You can also decrease or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses with refractive surgery. Join the thousands who have had LASIK in Rochester, NY at Cornerstone Eye Associates. Contact us to set up a consultation. We will review your visual goals and discuss whether LASIK is right for you.

Learn more about Vision Correction at Cornerstone Eye associates.

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