top of page

Refractive Errors of the Eye

When light strikes the surface of the eye, it is focused by the cornea and the lens onto the retina, which is the sensing tissue that relays the message via the optic nerve to the brain (the brain really does the "seeing"). Slight abnormalities in this focusing mechanism may cause patients to be nearsighted, farsighted, or to have astigmatism.

PRESBYOPIA - is difficulty in reading, near tasks and sometimes computer use.  Exposure to sun light over many years causes a decrease in the eye’s ability to focus on near objects


MYOPIA (near sightedness) - blurred distance vision, often worse with night-time activities or driving. Reading vision in these patients is often good without glasses. Sometimes the wearing of their distance glasses can cause a person’s reading vision to be more difficult.


HYPEROPIA (farsightedness) – causes blurred reading/near tasks in some people, particularly in adulthood.  While hyperopic patients can often see 20/20, their eyes become tired, and sometimes red, with reading and computer use.  They may experience blurred vision, eye-strain, headaches or avoid extended reading and/or computer use.


ASTIGMATISM - is a distortion of the optics of the eye which causes objects at all distances           to appear indistinct and distorted.  Astigmatism is very common occurring in approximately 80% of the population to some degree.  Astigmatism usually occurs in both eyes and can vary from very slight to severe.  Astigmatism usually is caused by a warpage of the cornea but can be caused by other optical areas of the eye including the lens and retina.  Astigmatism can cause eye strain, light sensitivity, headaches, poor reading, poor distance/driving vision, squinting, eye rubbing and fatigue.


PRISM – is a special medical treatment built into your prescription glasses lenses.  It helps to align your eyes. This may help reduce or eliminate blurred vision, double vision, tired eyes and/or headaches.  Prism is invisible and there is an extra fee for adding this medical treatment to your glasses lenses.


FOCUSING PROBLEMS – occurs in patients 65 and younger, it is difficulty in reading, reading comprehension, reading comfort, near tasks such as computer/cell phone use.


Myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, astigmatism and focusing problems can all be treated with prescription glasses and sometimes contact lenses.  They can sometimes be reduced or eliminated with surgery.


Tips for healthy eyes:

  1. Include dark green vegetables, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, etc., in your daily diet.

  2. Wear sunglasses, particularly polarized, or clear prescription glasses outdoors.

  3. Exercise regularly.  Even walking can be helpful for your eyes.

  4. Remain a non-smoker or become a non-smoker.

  5. Limit blue light exposure from computers, tablets and cell phones, especially 1 hour before bedtime.

  6. While reading a computer/cell phone/tablet/book, every 20 minutes give your eyes a rest by looking across the room, 20 feet or more if possible, and focus for 20 seconds on small letters/numbers/tree branches, blinking your eyes a few times as you focus at distance.

bottom of page