Refractive conditions occur when the optics of the eye do not focus a crisp image on the retina. There are several types, including
- Myopia (near-sightedness) - patients have difficulty clearly seeing objects that are far
- Hyperopia (far-sightedness) - patients have difficulty clearly seeing objects that are near
Refractive conditions cause blurred vision that can typically be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Refractive errors are important for patients of all ages. Children's eyes are generally able to accommodate better than adults, and thus they may not require glasses if they are only mildly far-sighted. However, children with larger amounts of hyperopia or significant amounts of myopia will need glasses or contact lenses in order to properly focus images. A correct refraction is one of the best ways to foster healthy visual development. Particularly in children, undiagnosed refractive errors can lead to a condition called refractive amblyopia. Refractive amblyopia occurs when the refractive error of the two eyes are either very large or very unequal with respect to each other. Too often, refractive amblyopia is undetected because there may not be obvious indications such as eye misalignment.