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Refraction is the bending of light rays as they pass through one object to another. When the eyes are open, light passes through the cornea, through the lens, and lands on the retina. Refractive errors occur when the shape of a person’s eyes disturbs how light focuses on the retina.

Refractive errors are very common. However, many people with refractive errors are not aware that they are not seeing well. Therefore, a comprehensive eye examination is important to detect refractive errors.


There are four types of refractive errors. These occur depending on how the eye is shaped.

  • Nearsightedness (myopia): this error makes far-away objects look blurry
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia): this error makes nearby objects look blurry
  • Astigmatism: this error makes nearby and far-away objects look blurry
  • Presbyopia: This error makes it hard for middle-aged and older people to see clearly


The three things that can cause refractive errors are:

  • The length of the eyeball. Some eyeballs grow longer or shorter than is ideal, causing the light to fall before or after the retina.
  • Problems with the shape of the cornea. If it is not well shapes it will affect the way the light enters the eye.
  • Ageing of the lens. This causes presbyopia.


The most common sign of refractive error is blurry vision, whether when looking at things far away or close by, depending on the type of refractive error the person has. Other signs are double vision, hazy vision, squinting, headaches, seeing a glow or halo around lights, or trouble focusing when reading.


The easiest way to diagnose refractive errors is with a comprehensive eye examination.


The treatment methods available are eyeglasses, contact lenses, and surgery. Eyeglasses and contact lenses are the more common methods of treatment. If surgery is possible, the eye doctor will give the best recommendation for the person.

Many people do not know they can see better because they have not experienced better quality vision. Contact us today and schedule a comprehensive examination. Your eyes will thank you.