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Refractive Errors of the Eye

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What are refractive errors of the eye?

Refractive errors of the eye are common vision disorders. These disorders happen when there is a problem with how your eye bends and focuses light. Refractive errors are caused by abnormal shape and texture of your eye.

Eye Anatomy

What increases my risk for a refractive error?

What signs and symptoms may I have with different types of refractive errors?

The most common symptom is blurry vision. You may rub, shut, or cover one eye, squint, or tilt or turn your head often. You may also have eye strain, headache, or fatigue. You may have other symptoms based on your type of refractive error:

How are refractive errors diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider may ask about your symptoms, medical history, and medicines. He or she may do a series of tests that aim bright lights directly at your eyes. You may also need any of the following tests:

How are refractive errors treated?

What can I do to care for my eyes?

When should I call my healthcare provider or ophthalmologist?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.