A refractive error is when the shape of your eye does not bend light correctly, causing blurred vision. The common refractive disorders are:

  • Myopia – also known as nearsightedness, myopia is when distant objects appear blurry. The condition is inherited and usually discovered in childhood. As a person ages, myopia can progress, requiring a stronger prescription to correct vision.
  • Hyperopia – also known as farsightedness, hyperopia is when close objects appear blurry. Hyperopia is most common in children. It can improve as a person ages.
  • Presbyopia – presbyopia is the aging of the lens in the eye, which can make reading more difficult. This usually occurs in people over the age of 40.
  • Astigmatism is an irregular curvature on the cornea (front surface of the eye) which causes a person’s vision to be blurred at all distances.

If you experience blurred vision, difficulty reading or crossing of the eyes, it may mean you have a refractive disorder. Contact your ophthalmologist for a complete eye exam. Refractive disorders are commonly treated with corrective lenses, whether it be eyeglasses or contact lenses. Some refractive disorders may also be corrected by refractive surgery.