Refractive Errors

Cross-section of the eyeWhat is refraction and how is it related to vision?

Refraction is the bending of light as it passes through one object to another. In the eye, light passes through the cornea and the lens, and then focuses on the retina—the part of the back of the eye which receives light and processes it, sending messages to the brain through the optic nerve. Your brain translates these messages into the images you see with your eyes.

What are refractive errors?

Problems with the shape of the cornea or lens can cause refractive errors: difficulty focusing light properly on the retina. These errors can cause blurry or distorted vision. The most common refractive errors are:

How are refractive errors corrected?

A number of approaches are available to correct visual impairment due to refractive errors. Speak with your eye care professional about what may be best for you. Options include:

  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Laser surgery