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Refractive Errors Of The Eye

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • Refractive (re-FRAK-tiv) errors of the eye, also called errors of refractions or EOR, are common eye disorders causing blurring. This occurs when there is a problem in the refraction (bending) of light in the eye. The shape and texture of the cornea and lens may be abnormal. When this happens, the cornea and lens fail to bend and focus the light directly on the retina. This may cause different types of EOR which include astigmatism, presbyopia, hyperopia, and myopia. Astigmatism is having an uneven (not smooth) and curved cornea, while presbyopia happens when the lens becomes stiff. Hyperopia is when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is slightly flat or less curved. Myopia , the opposite of hyperopia, occurs when eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved or rounded.
    Picture of a normal eye
  • Depending on the type of EOR, you may have different signs and symptoms. The most common symptom of EOR is seeing blurred images. Sometimes, you may have trouble recognizing faces or things around you. You may rub, shut or cover your eye, squint, or tilt or turn your head frequently. You may also have eyestrain, headache, or fatigue (getting tired more easily). Eye tests, including a visual acuity test, may be needed to diagnose EOR. Diagnosing and treating EOR as soon as possible, may improve your vision and improve your quality of life.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Taking care of my vision:

The following may help take care of your eyes and eyesight:

  • Always have your eyes checked regularly for problems, especially if you have other health conditions. Ask your caregiver for more information on how often your vision should be examined.
  • Avoid playing contact sports while wearing your corrective lenses or after any eye surgery. Your lenses may break and your eyes may get injured. Talk to your caregiver before you start playing contact sports again.
  • Eat healthy foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins A and C may help keep your vision healthy. Foods such as sweet potatoes, apricots and carrots are rich in nutrients good for the eyes.
  • Practice good eye hygiene. Follow manufacturer's instructions for proper use, cleaning, and storage of the lenses. Your caregiver may suggest when your lenses especially contacts need to be replaced.
  • Rest your eyes especially after reading a lot. You may want get plenty of sleep at night to relax your eyes. Ask your caregiver when and how much you need to rest your eyes.
  • Use good lighting in your home, school, or workplace. You may also improve the lighting by using lights that reduce glare.

For more information:

Having EOR may be hard for you and your family. Contact the following for more information:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
    7424
    San Francisco , CA 941207424
    Phone: 1- 415 - 5618500
    Web Address: http://www.aao.org/
  • National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
    202 Vision Pl.
    Bethesda , MD 20892-3655
    Phone: 1- 301 - 496-5248
    Web Address: www.nei.nih.gov
  • Prevent Blindness America
    211 W. Wacker Dr, Ste 1700
    Chicago , IL 60606
    Phone: 1- 800 - 331-2020
    Web Address: www.preventblindness.org

CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:

  • You cannot make it to your next appointment.
  • You have trouble placing or removing your contact lenses.
  • You have new signs and symptoms, such as eye redness, discharge, or irritation, or flashing lights.
  • You have any questions or concerns about your condition, treatment, or care.

SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:

  • You feel a sudden, sharp pain in your eye.
  • You suddenly lose your eyesight.
  • Your eye problems become worse, such as seeing things more blurred.
  • Your glasses or contact lenses got damaged or lost.

Copyright © 2012. Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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