Types of Refractive Error
Ways We Treat
Refractive Eye Surgery
Myopia, also called nearsightedness, is the ability to see objects nearby clearly but distant objects appear blurry. It occurs when the shape of the cornea causes light rays to bend (refract) incorrectly, focusing the image in front of the retina instead of onto the retina.
Nearsightedness usually will develop in childhood and adolescence and it tends to run in families. It may gradually get worse early in a person's adolescent years, and stabilize in their 20s.
Hyperopia, also called farsightedness, is the ability to see distant objects more easily than nearby objects. It may cause blurry vision at a distance if hyperopia is significant. Hyperopia occurs when light rays are bent (refracted) behind the retina instead of onto the retina. occurs when distant objects are easier to see clearly than nearby objects. If hyperopia is significant, vision may be blurry at any distance. Hyperopia occurs when light is refracted behind the retina instead of onto the retina.
Farsightedness usually is present at birth that corrects itself as the child develops. It tends to run in families.
Astigmatism is an imperfection of the curvature of the cornea causing blurry vision, both distant and near. In astigmatic people, the cornea is shaped like a football instead of a ball. Light that hits the eye is distorted and refracted to multiple focus points instead of one focus point on the retina.
There are two cases of astigmatism - regular, in which the eyeball is not spherical but is symmetrical; and irregular, in which the eyeball is not spherical and not symmetrical. Astigmatism may also be caused by an eye injury that causes surface irregularities on the cornea.
Presbyopia is the gradual and natural loss of your ability to focus on nearby objects as you age. This happens to most people past the age of 40, when the eyes' lenses start to harden, losing the ability to adjust the shape to focus on near objects. Presbyopia affects the whole field of vision when you focus on a near object.
With the exception of small children, for whom contact lenses are usually not recommended, the decision about which type of lenses to choose is your preference. You and your doctor can discuss the available options and advantages of each.
Regardless of whether you prefer glasses or contact lenses, our doctors can help you find a corrective lens with the best prescription strength. These specialists can also ensure that it matches your aesthetic preferences and lifestyle and is comfortable to wear. Many people use both eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Eyeglasses work to improve vision by correcting how light is refracted onto the retina through the lens. After your eye doctor determines your prescription and the type of glasses you need, you can buy glasses at any optical store. There are different lens choices to suit your lifestyle and provide more than one type of refractive correction within the same lens. For example, there are bifocal, trifocal, and progressive glasses. You can ask your eye doctor to recommend a lens type that is optimized for your occupation and your different daily tasks such as reading, driving, or computer work.
As people develop presbyopia as they age and have difficulty seeing nearby objects, reading glasses become useful. You may use them when you have difficulty reading something up close, such as a book or a mobile device. Oftentimes, people can buy over the counter glasses which work well - however, eye doctors can customize the prescription to optimize the vision and fit with glasses. Some people may require a different prescription for each eye.
Contact lenses are small pieces of soft or hard plastic that are placed directly on the eyeball to correct refractive error. If you have never worn contact lenses, your eye doctor can perform a contact lens fitting for you to determine the approximate curve, diameter, and thickness of the contact lens. You may trial a pair of contact lens in our office before purchasing them.
Contact lenses are convenient for a range of people and come in a large variety. There are hard and soft lenses. Soft contacts are more comfortable and can be a great choice for nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatic people. Depending on the lens, some soft contacts can be thrown away every day and some can last up to a year, with daily cleaning. Hard lenses are rigid and are prescribed for people with irregular astigmatism. The rigidity of the lens shapes the eyeball, correcting the shape and the refraction of light that passes through the contact lens and eye.