What is a Refractive Error?

A refractive error occurs when the shape of your eye does not bend light correctly – resulting in blurry vision.

The types of refractive errors are:

Myopia (nearsightedness):

People with myopia can see clearly up close, but distant objects are blurry.

Hyperopia (farsightedness):

People with hyperopia generally have blurry close vision but clearer distance vision. In more severe cases, vision may be blurry at all distances.

Astigmatism (an irregular cornea):

This refractive error usually occurs when the surface of the eye is asymmetric in its curvature.

Presbyopia (age-related loss of near vision):

After the age of 40, most people will experience a loss of near vision. This is caused by decreased flexibility in the natural lens of the eye.

Refractive errors are generally harmless, although severe refractive errors can cause other issues. For instance, people with severe myopia are more at risk of retinal detachment, which causes permanent vision loss.