When someone has trouble seeing far away (myopia) or up close (hyperopia) this can be due to refractive errors. A glasses prescription or contact lens prescription can help improve the quality of the image. Refractive conditions occur when the optics of the eye do not focus a crisp image on the retina. There are several types, including:
- Myopia (near-sightedness) – patients have difficulty clearly seeing objects that are far
- Hyperopia (far-sightedness) – patients have difficulty clearly seeing objects that are near
- Astigmatism – patients have difficulty clearly seeing objects at all distances
A correct refraction is one of the best ways to foster healthy visual development. In children, undiagnosed refractive errors can lead to a condition called amblyopia (a.k.a “Lazy eye”). Children may be asymptomatic, especially if one eye is seeing clearly while the other eye is suffering from abnormal visual development. Glasses can also be helpful in treating this condition of abnormal neurodevelopment regarding the visual processing systems.