Refractive errors are a type of vision problem that makes it hard to see clearly. They happen when the shape of the eye keeps light from focusing correctly on the retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of the eye).
The most common types of refractive error are;
- Near-sightedness – results in far away objects being blurry
- Far-sightedness – makes nearby objects look blurry
- Astigmatism – can make far-away and nearby objects look blurry or distorted
- Presbyopia – makes it hard for middle-aged and older adults to see things up close
There are clear symptoms including;
- Blurred vision
- Reading problem
- Inability to see close objects
- Eye irritation or weakness in the eyes
- In children, there are initial signs such as crossed eyes (when eyes are not aligned properly), continuous blinking of the eyes, rubbing of the eyes and frowning while reading
- Advanced signs include; headaches due to stress on vascular eye muscle, squinting of eyes, eyes fatigues, different sensation or excessive itchiness in the eyes.
Some of the most probable causes of this disease are:
- Eyeball length (when the eyeball grows too long to too short)
- Problems with the shape of the cornea (the clear outer layer of the eye)
- Aging of the lens (an inner part of the eye that is normally clear and helps the eye focus)
Refractive error can be diagnosed with imaging tests, vision sharpness tests and assessment of refractive error. Doctors will also do physical examination of the eye.
Eye doctors can correct refractive errors with glasses or contact lenses, or fix the refractive error with surgery.
Glasses – eyeglasses are the simplest and safest way to correct refractive errors. The eye doctor will prescribe the right glasses lenses to give the patient the clearest possible vision.
Contacts – it sits on the surface of the eyes and corrects refractive errors. The doctor will fit the patient for the right lenses and show how to clean and wear them safely.
Surgery – some types of surgery, like laser eye surgery, can change the shape of the cornea to fix refractive errors. The doctor will help the patient decide if the surgery is right for them.
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