Refractive Eye Conditions and Treatments

Refractive errors occur when light does not focus properly on the retina because of the shape of the eye. The resulting image is blurred. Common refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (distorted vision), and presbyopia (aging eyes).

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

A myopic eye is longer than a normal eye or has a cornea that is too steep causing light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of on it. With myopia, close objects appear clear, but distant ones appear blurred.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

A hyperopic eye is shorter than normal or has a cornea that is too flat. The light rays focus beyond the retina instead of on it. With myopia, close objects appear clear, but distant ones appear blurred.


The cornea of an astigmatic eye is curved unevenly. Images focus in front of and beyond the retina, causing both close and distant objects to appear blurry.


Presbyopia refers to the hardening of the lens that occurs with age. After the age of 40, the lens becomes more rigid and cannot change shape as easily to accommodate near objects. This makes reading and other tasks performed at close range difficult. Presbyopia can occur in combination with any of the other three refractive errors.

Eye Exam

A comprehensive eye exam is the foundation for the proper care of your eyes. At DiStefano Eye Center, your exam will typically include a medical history, report of current symptoms, functional vision tests, an assessment of your refraction and an inspection of the different structures of your eyes to determine your eye health status. All of these elements are important to present a complete understanding of your vision and to determine if additional specialized tests are required.

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LASIK (Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis) is a painless procedure to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism by changing the shape of the eye’s surface or cornea. Depending on the condition, the laser may be used to flatten the cornea, steepen it, or remove irregularities.

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For years, the only method of permanent vision correction that didn’t involve glasses or contact lenses was corrective laser eye surgery. With the advent of the Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL), there is a new option to correct myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). The ICL is designed to be permanently implanted inside the eye behind the iris (colored portion of the eye), but resting in front of the natural crystalline lens. The lens cannot be felt inside the eye and does not require maintenance.

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