Refractive Errors – general

What are refractive errors?

Refractive errors are common vision problems in which your eyes are not able to focus clearly on an object.

What are the causes of refractive errors?

Refractive errors occur when light rays from an object do not focus correctly on the retina (light-sensitive inner back layer of the eye).

What are the symptoms?

Blurred vision is the most common symptom of refractive error, while impairment of vision may occur in severe cases. You may also experience other symptoms such as headache, squinting, double vision or eye strain.

How are refractive errors classified?

Refractive errors are classified as follows:

  • Myopia or near-sightedness: Light rays are focused in front of the retina, thereby causing distant objects to appear blurred.
  • Hyperopia or far-sightedness: Light rays are focused behind the retina and cause nearby objects to appear blurred.
  • Astigmatism: Irregularly curved cornea (dome-shaped front part of the eye) causes light rays to get distorted, affecting distant and near vision.
  • Presbyopia: Age-related difficulty in focusing on objects at arm’s distance.

How are refractive errors diagnosed?

Your doctor will conduct an eye examination to diagnose refractive errors.


What are the treatment options for refractive errors?

You may be prescribed corrective glasses or contact lenses, while certain cases may require surgery to treat refractive errors. Some of the other treatment options include:

  • Lasik (blade-less)
  • PRK
  • Implantable collamer lens
  • Bioptics