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An Overview of Refractive Errors

woman and eye chart

There are four distinct types of refractive errors that can impair your vision and require you to seek professional treatment from an ophthalmologist like Dr. Mark Hornfeld. These errors can affect persons of all ages and often lead to a number of frustrating conditions associated with focusing. To learn more, take a look at this overview of refractive errors:

Recognizing the Signs of a Refractive Error

There are many symptoms of refractive errors that are likely to send you in to your ophthalmologist's office. These symptoms range based on the specific type of error you may have, but often include headaches, frequent squinting, double vision, halos around lights, and eye strain. Your risk for developing a refractive error increases if you are the child of a parent with any of the four errors featured below.

Understanding the Four Distinct Types

In order to understand refractive errors, it's important to know that there are four distinct types that can alter your vision. Myopia, often called “nearsightedness”, is the result of light focusing in front of instead of on the retina. Hyperopia produces the opposite effect, which is commonly referred to as “farsightedness”. Presbyopia impairs an aged eye's ability to focus up close. Astigmatism is characterized by blurry vision as a result of light focusing improperly on the retina.

Treatment Options and Future Prognoses

An ophthalmologist can treat refractive errors using Lasik surgery, or with eyeglasses or lenses. The former, Lasik surgery, which is essentially a refractive surgery, alters the cornea so that light can focus on the retina more directly. This surgery is permanent and will leave vision improved for the rest of a patient's lifetime.

The best way to learn more about refractive errors is to consult with Dr. Mark Hornfeld. His team of caring professionals can help you with all of your vision needs, from treating cataracts to performing lens implants. Contact us at (646) 681-3100 to learn more about our services.