Understanding Refractive Errors: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

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Understanding Refractive Errors: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Refractive errors are vision problems that occur when the shape of the eye prevents light from bending correctly. The result is blurred vision, which can affect a person’s ability to see distant or close objects. Refractive errors are common and affect people of all ages. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available to improve vision and reduce symptoms. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of refractive errors.

Causes of Refractive Errors

Refractive errors are caused by abnormalities in the shape of the eye. These can include:

– Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, which occurs when the eye is too long, causing distant objects to be blurry.
– Hyperopia: also known as farsightedness, which occurs when the eye is too short, causing close objects to be blurry.
– Astigmatism: which occurs when the eye is irregularly shaped, causing distorted or blurred vision at any distance.
– Presbyopia: which is a natural aging process where the lens in the eye loses its flexibility, making it harder to focus on close objects.

Symptoms of Refractive Errors

The most common symptom of refractive errors is blurred vision. Other symptoms may include:

– Difficulty seeing objects at a distance or up close.
– Eye strain, headaches, and fatigue.
– Squinting, rubbing, or blinking frequently.
– Double vision or ghosting of images.
– Trouble reading and doing near work.

Treatment Options

Refractive errors can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. The right treatment option will depend on the type and severity of the refractive error, as well as the patient’s personal preferences and lifestyle.

– Eyeglasses: Eyeglasses are the most common treatment for refractive errors. They work by focusing light onto the retina, correcting any refractive error. Eyeglasses are available in many styles and lens materials, including single vision, bifocal, and progressive lenses.
– Contact Lenses: Contact lenses work much like eyeglasses but sit directly on the cornea. They are available in various types and are preferred by many people who do not want to wear glasses.
– Refractive Surgery: Refractive surgery is a permanent solution to refractive errors. These surgeries include PRK, LASIK, and other procedures that reshape the cornea to correct the refractive error.


Refractive errors are common vision problems that can be corrected with different options. If you experience blurred vision, it is essential to consult an ophthalmologist who can help determine the cause of the problem and recommend an appropriate treatment. At 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills, MI, Dr. Dolan and his team are experienced in identifying and treating refractive errors. Call them at 248-375-0040 to book an appointment and get a clearer view of the world around you.

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