Refractive Errors


optics

Myopia/Hyperopia

Normally when we see objects the light rays hit our tear and cornea and the light bends.  It then hits our lens/cataract and bends even further, eventually focusing around the retina.  If it lands directly on the retina, then you have perfect vision or emmetropia.  If the image focuses in front of the retina, the patient is nearsighted or myopic.  If the image focuses behind the retina, the patient is farsighted or hyperopic.


Astigmatism

This all assumes that the eye is completely symmetric, which it often isn’t.  It can be shaped quite different.  Take a spoon, for instance.

spoon

You’ll see that the image is distorted, stretched actually, because the spoon has two major curvatures.  There’s the flatter vertical curve at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock and the steeper horizontal curve at 3 and 9 o’clock.  These would focus the light at two different points near the retina.  This uncorrected astigmatism manifests as ghost or shadow images at distance and often as fatigue up close.

ghosting

A prescription for glasses or contact lenses can help correct these problems with bending of light to make sure that the light beams from all angles focus directly on the retina.  That’s where your prescription comes in and where we come in!  We can correct this via glasses or surgically by corneal refractive surgery (PRK) or lenticular refractive surgery (RLE or cataract surgery).  Call us today to discuss your options!

myopia

hyperopia

astigmatism




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