What You Need To Know About Refractive Errors

What You Need To Know About Refractive Errors

Are you someone who wears spectacles? If not, then you’ve definitely seen people with spectacles somewhere, sometime.

Some of us need spectacles to see clearly. But what’s really behind the whole blur? Why are we not able to see?

It’s because our eyeball changes its shape sometimes. And this is called a refractive error. 

The cornea and lens of your eye help you see things around you and in detail. A refractive error occurs when the shape of the eye becomes long or short. This affects your cornea and lens, thereby causing a blur in your vision. Aging can also cause a shift in the shape of the lens which results in poor vision. 

About 40% of the world’s population is affected by refractive errors. However, not all of them are the same. Different eye conditions affect vision differently. 

Here are the types of refractive errors and their causes. 

Types Of Refractive Errors

Popular to contrary belief, sitting close to a screen, overusing or stressing your eyes out does not cause refractive errors. 


Myopia or nearsightedness occurs when objects at a short distance can be seen clearly, but distant objects are blurry. For example, kids might sometimes complain about not being able to see the school board clearly, or one may try to look far by narrowing their eyes. The cause for myopia is due to the eye being a little too long, thereby not focusing on objects that are far away. 

Myopia is usually inherited and often discovered during childhood. Since the body grows quickly from childhood to 17-18 years of age, myopia often progresses. 


In Hyperopia or farsightedness objects afar and objects, close are a blur. The cause for this is due to the eye being shorter than usual which leads to the inability to see things cleary. 

Children often have hyperopia, which may reduce as they grow older. A small percentage of adults are also susceptible to hyperopia. This can be caused due to genetics or aging of the eye. 


As adults progress further into adulthood and are probably in their late thirties or forties, the lens of the eye tends to harden and loses its flexibility. This causes the eye to lose its focusing ability, eventually becoming difficult for one to read things that are close. This is known as presbyopia and can occur with myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism as well. 


Astigmatism usually occurs when the cornea, is irregularly curved. Usually, the front surface of the cornea is pointed more in one direction than in the other. This causes one to see things that are wavy and distorted. It also causes blurry vision. 

Tests and Diagnosis

A refractive error can be diagnosed and treated immediately by an eye care professional. The test usually consists of asking the patient to read a vision chart while placing several lenses to see which one brings in the most clarity. 


  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty in reading
  • Difficulty in focusing on far away objects
  • Haziness
  • Squinting
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Crossing of the eyes in children (esotropia)

Treatment and Drugs

Refractive errors are usually treated using corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgeries are also a good option for people who want to get rid of their glasses (such as LASIK/ ReLEx SMILE).  

You can read more about our treatments for various eye disorders ​here.

If you or your child are having trouble with your vision and have any of the symptoms mentioned above, you might want to see an ophthalmologist and get them checked

The ophthalmologist will be able to examine and conduct tests to figure out the nature of the problem.

You can call us on our Toll-free number ​18004251919 ​or our mobile number +91 ​9513596565 and learn more from our experts at Prasad Netralaya– Mangalore and ​Udupi’s​ first and finest Super Specialty Eye Hospital.

You can also directly book an appointment with our experienced in-house ophthalmologists by filling this simple ​form​ for regular eye checkup or just walk into any of our branches in Mangalore, Sullia, Tirathalli, and Udupi.

Your vision is our mission.