Refractive Error And Treatment Options

glasses on a tableIf you wear glasses or contact lenses to correct blurry vision, more than likely, that blurry vision is due to a refractive error. Our vision is dependant on how light that enters our eyes is refracted, or bent. Light must be refracted properly to allow us to focus, and not have blurred vision. When light isn’t refracted correctly, it causes blurred vision.

The most common reason people need vision correction is because of one of these three refractive errors: nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. When light hits the eye, the focal point that allows us to see is the retina. Refractive errors cause light to incorrectly bounce off the retina. 

  • Nearsightedness occurs when an eye that is too long. Light rays are bent into a point of focus that is in front of the retina.
  • Farsightedness occurs when an eye is too short. Light is not focused by the time it reaches the retina (the focal point is beyond the retina).
  • Astigmatism results when the curvature of the surface of the eye is irregular. Light rays become skewed, and are unable to achieve a single point of focus.
  • It is possible that more than one type of refractive error exists in one eye. For example, you may have nearsightedness and astigmatism.

Treatment options for refractive errors vary, and vision correction is usually simple. Your eye doctor may prescribe a contact lens or eyeglass prescription to correct your vision. LASIK eye surgery is another option.

  • Contact lenses and eyeglasses are made with curves to refract light at just the right degree necessary to compensate for your refractive errors. An artificial lens in front of your eye (whether contact lens or eyeglass lens) intercepts and bends the light rays, allowing light to focus on the retina as it should.
  • LASIK eye surgery corrects refractive errors by changing the shape of the cornea so that they eye will properly refract light into a point of focus on the retina.

If your eye doctor has diagnosed a refractive error in your vision and prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct your vision, contact Key-Whitman for a consultation to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK eye surgery.

Do you have a question about refractive errors? Ask us in the comments below!

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