Aug 30

What Are Refractive Errors

Posted on August 30, 2012 — by Eric Del Piero

What Are Refractive ErrorsSome of the most common vision problems that people face are refractive errors. You may not be familiar with that term, but you're more than likely familiar with what they are. In fact, you may know someone who has a refractive error and you may even have one yourself. When you come in for a full eye exam at our Monterey eye care center, we'll be able to determine if you have a refractive error and how it can best be treated. Let's go over the basics of refractive errors right now so you have a basic understanding of what's involved.

About Refractive Errors

Refractive errors refer to vision problems related to the cornea, the transparent layer of the eye covering the iris, pupil, and lens. Irregularities in the cornea cause light to pass through the eyes improperly, leading to blurry vision. You know refractive errors better by their more common names:

  • Myopia (Nearsightedness)

  • Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

  • Astigmatism

Our Salinas and Monterey eye doctors will perform a comprehensive exam to identify which vision problem you are experiencing and the degree to which it's affecting your vision.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Myopia refers to a refractive error in which it is easy to see objects that are near but difficult to see objects that are far away. This is caused by light passing through the eyes focusing on a spot in front of the retina.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Hyperopia refers to a refractive error in which is it easy to see objects that are far away but difficult to see objects that are up close. This is caused by light passing through the eyes focusing on a spot behind the retina.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism refers to an irregular cornea shape which causes general blurriness of vision. Astigmatism usually accompanies myopia and hyperopia.

Treatment Options for Refractive Errors

All treatment options for refractive errors are meant to improve the way that light passes through the eye, properly focusing it on the retina. For many, many years, the most effective and reliable treatment for refractive errors has been corrective lenses. Getting prescription contact lenses and prescription glasses has made a world of difference to many patients, allowing them to see clearly again.

One of the most popular treatment options in the last decade or so is Monterey LASIK. LASIK is a refractive surgery which uses lasers to adjust the shape of the cornea. This results in enhanced vision without the need for corrective lenses. There are other refractive surgery options out there for those who are not ideal candidates for LASIK, such as LASEK and PRK. The surgeries are generally similar.

The Best Treatment Option for You

Not everyone is a good candidate for refractive surgery, and some people would rather not wear prescription contact lenses and eyeglasses. It's for that reason that we encourage patients to visit our practice. We can perform a full exam and help you make the best decision about your treatment options. We want to make sure that you are well informed.

Learn More About Refractive Errors and Eye Care

If you would like more information about eye care issues and the treatments that are available to you, be sure to contact our ophthalmology centers in Monterey and Salinas today. Our entire team looks forward to discussing all of your options for improved vision in greater detail.

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