What Are the Various Types Of Refractive Errors That Laser Eye Surgery Can Correct?
There are many individuals across the globe that need corrective eyewear to improve their vision due to refractive errors. A refractive error in the eye is when a change in the shape of the eye causes one’s vision to be blurred and out of focus. ‘Refractive error’ comes from the term ‘refraction’ which is the bending of light that enables one to see. As you look at an object, the rays of light that it reflects are refracted through the cornea and onto the inner lens. From there, the lens focuses the light onto the retina–converting the patterns of light into electrical signals that are sent to the brain through the optic nerve. When the eye is unable to bend and focus the light onto the retina, a refractive error occurs. With refractive errors, individuals will experience blurry, hazy, or double vision, leading to strain on the eyes. If left untreated (with corrective eyewear or laser surgery), individuals can develop chronic headaches. Luckily, experienced ophthalmologists and optometrists can quickly and effectively determine the type of refractive error that affects one’s vision. Here are the different types:
- Myopia: Also commonly referred to as nearsightedness, is the inability to see objects at a distance. Typically, far away objects look blurred, causing issues with reading signs and other elements. Myopia happens when refracted light is focused in front of the retina rather than onto the retina. Additionally, nearsightedness can develop if an individual’s eyeball is elongated and the cornea is more curved than average.
- Hyperopia: Hyperopia–farsightedness–describes the ability to see distance objects better the objects that are nearby. This refractive error occurs when light is refracted behind the retina rather than onto the retina–mostly in those who have little curvature in the cornea.
- Astigmatism: An astigmatism is when an unusually shaped (often oval/egg shaped) cornea causes blurred vision. When light hits an eye with an astigmatism it becomes distorted and refracts to various points in the eye instead of one point on the retina. With an astigmatism, individuals will have difficulties seeing objects that are both far away and up close.
- Presbyopia: Presbyopia is the gradual loss of focus and ability to adjust eyesight. This typically occurs in those who are 40 years old and up. Presbyopia affects the lens of the eye, causing one’s field of vision to blur when trying to focus on an up-close object.
While there are many versions of refractive errors, they can be easily treated with laser eye surgery. Talk to your local ophthalmologist or optometrist to see if you are qualified for LASIK eye surgery.
This article was written by Millennium Laser Eye Centers. Dr. Cory M. Lessner’s extensive training and expertise along with the professional team at Millennium Laser Eye Centers are recognized as a LASIK Leader in the United States.