A Look at Common Refractive Errors

When you visit an optometrist for an optical exam near Orlando , she checks many factors that can influence the health of your eyes and how well you can see. After your exam, your eye doctor may inform you that you suffer from a refractive error. The following are examples of common types of these vision problems:

What Is a Refractive Error?


One common refractive error that your eye doctor might diagnose you with is called astigmatism. This problem develops when the eye doesn’t focus light evenly onto the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye, called the retina. Astigmatism can cause what the person sees to be distorted or blurry. In the case of this and other refractive errors, having a parent with this condition increases the likelihood of you suffering from it as well.


Often referred to as farsightedness, hyperopia is a commonly occurring refractive error that causes people to see objects at a distance clearly, while those up close tend to be blurry. People can experience hyperopia in several ways. For example, an individual who has this refractive error may have blurry vision both near and far, and others may have no symptoms of this condition until they are older in age.


Sometimes thought of as the opposite of hyperopia, the refractive error called myopia occurs when a person can see close objects clearly but has difficulty seeing distant objects. This happens because light coming into the eye focuses in front of rather than on the retina. Myopia is among the most common refractive errors that are diagnosed during eye tests.


For some individuals, their eyes lose the ability to focus on near objects as they age. Referred to as presbyopia, this type of refractive error is common and affects most adults over the age of 35, to some degree. This age-related condition occurs when the eye’s lens loses its ability to change its shape as much as necessary to properly focus on close objects.

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