Refractive Error

Refractive errorsare the most common eye disorders. Refractive errors are disorders, not diseases.A refractive error means that the shape of your eye does not bend light correctly, resulting in a blurred image.

This condition may be either because the eye is too short or long in length, or because the cornea or lens does not have the required refractive power. Refractive errors often are the main reason a person seeks the services of an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Refractive error occurs when the eye doesn’t bend light correctly (refract) as it enters the eye, resulting in a blurred image.

The following are the most common refractive errors:

Myopia, or nearsightedness,

Hyperopia, or farsightedness,

Astigmatism, and




Blurred vision,

Difficulty reading or seeing up close

Esotropia in children

Most refraction in the eye occurs when light rays travel through the curved, clear front surface of the eye (cornea). Refractive errors usually can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses, or they can be permanently treated with LASIK and other vision correction surgery (also called refractive surgery). Refractive errors are amongst the most common vision problems in the United States. People with 20/80 vision must be as close as 20 feet to clearly see objects that those with normal vision can see from a distance of 80 feet.


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