Refractive Eye Problems Treatment in NYC


View a video about the 4 main types of refractive errors.


Myopia, or near-sightedness, is a vision condition affecting nearly a third of the people in the United States. The eye focuses properly on nearby objects, while distance objects appear blurry. This is caused by an eye that focuses light too strongly. Typically the cornea is steeper than normal or the eye is longer than normal. The most telling symptom is difficulty seeing objects in the distance, for example a chalkboard or television screen. Nearsightedness may be hereditary, and it may also be caused or exacerbated by frequent close-vision work such as reading. Myopia is treated with glasses, contacts and refractive surgery.

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Hyperopia is commonly called farsightedness. It is caused by an eye that does not focus light strongly enough. Light entering the eye does not come to a focal point before hitting the retina. Typically the cornea is flatter than normal or the eye is shorter than normal. In the young this problem is not noticed because the eye can compensate for this refractive error. As a person approaches 40 however, the eye loses its ability to compensate and vision gradually becomes blurry. This is easily corrected with glasses, contacts or refractive surgery.

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Astigmatism occurs when the cornea, the front surface of the eye, is curved slightly in one direction and causes blurred vision. The cornea refracts (bends) light so it focuses on the retina in the back of the eye. With astigmatism, some of that light focuses in front of or behind the retina, so your vision may be blurry for nearby (hyperopia), far-away (myopia) or all objects.

Indications of astigmatism can include headaches, eye strain, fatigue, and blurred or distorted vision. The severity of symptoms depends on the degree of astigmatism in your eyes.

Routine eye exams include testing for astigmatism, which affects many people. Once diagnosed, astigmatism can usually be corrected with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.

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Presbyopia is a natural change in our eyes’ ability to focus. It occurs when the soft crystalline lens of the eye starts to harden. This loss of flexibility affects the lens’ ability to focus light in the eye, causing nearby objects to look blurry. Presbyopia happens to everyone starting in about our 40s or 50s — even in patients who have had laser vision correction.

The effects of presbyopia can be corrected with glasses, bifocal contact lenses, or multifocal lens implants at the time of cataract surgery, including Crystalens®, Tecnis Multifocal and ReSTOR®.

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