One of our favorite things to do with our blogs is to educate our patients. There is so much misinformation out there, we want to make sure our blogs are accurate and informative

There are many vision problems you could suffer from, but there are four main vision errors that are more common than the rest. These four errors are the main Refractive errors your eye doctor is looking for when doing a vision test.

What are Refractive Errors?

Refractive errors happen when your eye shape keeps light from focusing correctly on your retina. These types of errors make it hard to see clearly.

These are the most common types of vision problem, more than 150 million Americans have a refractive error. Sometimes the vision impairment isn’t as obvious so many people do not know they could be seeing better. Eye exams are an important step to finding out if you have a refractive error and your eye doctor can help determine the best way to fix it.

What are the 4 types?

There are four common types of refractive errors:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia) – this error makes far away objects look blurry.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)- this error makes nearby objects look blurry.
  • Astigmatism – this error makes objects look blurry or distorted regardless of how far away they are.
  • Presbyopia – this error is prevalent in middle aged or older adults and makes it hard for them to see things up close.


There are many symptoms associated with these refractive errors. Some symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Squinting
  • Hazy Vision
  • Double Vision
  • Seeing a glare or halo around bright lights
  • Eye Strain
  • Trouble focusing

Since it is so easy to mis-interpret, or not realize that you are suffering from these symptoms it is so important to have regular eye exams. Your eye doctor is going to be able to diagnose you, even if you haven’t realized you have an issue.

What Causes These Errors?

Refractive errors in vision can be caused by many different things. Your eyeball length, problems with the shape of your cornea, and aging of the lens of your eye are just a few things that can cause it.

Some things to keep in mind are that Refraction is the bending of light rays as they pass through one object to another. The cornea and lens bend light rays to focus them on the retina. When the shape of the eye changes, it also changes the way light rays bend and focus which in turn can cause blurry vision.


Once your eye doctor determines what refractive error you are suffering from, they will recommend your best options for treatment.

Some treatments include, glasses, contacts or even surgery. Your eye doctor will help walk you through the best options for you!