Refractive Errors

Refractive errors include nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Learn more about each condition here.

Nearsightedness – Myopia

Nearsightedness or Myopia is very common; 25% of adults worldwide live with this vision defect. For these people close objects are clear, but distant object are blurred and difficult to distinguish. Nearsightedness happens when light has to focus in front of the retina, as opposed to on the retina, because of the eye’s unusually long shape. Passed on genetically, the condition is often detected between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. Nearsightedness worsens during adolescence, and stabilizes in early adulthood. Although myopia is usually benign, very severe cases of nearsightedness imply a higher risk of detached retina.

Farsightedness – Hyperopia

Farsightedness or Hyperopia occurs when light has to focus behind the retina, as opposed to on the retina, because of the eye’s unusually short shape. Farsighted people have blurred vision at all distances, and often suffer from headaches and eye fatigue, as they make a constant effort to focus. The condition is usually passed on genetically. Young children are often slightly farsighted, but only temporarily. In most cases, the condition corrects itself as their eyes naturally grow in length. Some, however, who remain farsighted and have enough focusing flexibility to fight the blur are unaware of their condition.


The eye lens starts out soft and flexible and readily changes shape to focus. But as people get older, the lens gradually hardens, and has increasing difficulty focusing. Presbyopia is not to be confused with farsightedness. Unlike farsightedness, which causes blurred vision at all distances, presbyopia only affects close vision.


Astigmatism affects the outer layer of the eye, called the cornea. It means that the curvature of the cornea is too severe, leading to a distorted vision of both near and far objects. Images are blurred because some of the light rays are focused and others are not. Astigmatism is a genetically inherited condition, and sometimes occurs in combination with nearsightedness or farsightedness.

If you believe you might have one of the above refractive errors, we can help! Give us a call at 801-302-3080 and we can help you correct your refractive errors so you can see better and live better!

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