Refractive Errors

Refractive errors occur when light bends through your eye improperly, causing blurry vision at various distances. The vision issues you experience depend on the shape of your cornea. At Karns Vision Center in Knoxville, TN, we provide various treatment options that allow you to see clearly.


Types of Refractive Errors

There are four types of refractive errors. These include:

  • Myopia: Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, makes it difficult to see objects in the distance clearly. It occurs when your eyes' shape causes light to bend incorrectly, and images focus in the front of the retina rather than on the retina. Myopia runs in families. If one of your parents has myopia, you have a 25 percent chance to having it as well. If both parents have myopia, the risk increases to 50 percent.
  • Hyperopia: Hyperopia, also known a farsightedness, makes it difficult to see close-up objects clearly. It occurs when your eye is shorter than normal or if the cornea is curved too little. This refractive error also runs in families.
  • Astigmatism: Astigmatism occurs when the lens is curved differently in one direction than the other. This causes blurry vision at all distances.
  • Presbyopia: Presbyopia occurs when the lens of the eye doesn't focus on near objects as effectively as before.  This condition usually begins in our 40's causing patients to require separate reading glasses from distance.  Contact lenses, bifocals, or progressives can be effective treatments for this condition. 

How Are Refractive Errors Diagnosed?

Refractive errors can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. Our experts of optometry will perform a refraction test, which will determine the severity of your condition. It will also help our eye doctor determine your prescription.

How Are Refractive Errors Treated?

There are several treatment options available for refractive errors. The one that you choose would depend on your lifestyle and personal preference. These include:

  • Eyeglasses: Eyeglasses are the most common treatment option for refractive errors. Our eye doctor will perform a vision test to determine your prescription so we can have eyeglass lenses made. After, the lenses would be fit into frames of your choosing.
  • Contact lenses: Contacts are an excellent alternative to eyeglasses. Since there is no frame necessary, contacts provide a more natural appearance. You don’t have to worry about losing your glasses. Also, contacts are more convenient for active people and athletes. If you have myopia or hyperopia, you can wear conventional soft lenses. If you have astigmatism, you are considered hard to fit for contacts and will need to wear toric lenses. If you choose contacts, you will need a pair of eyeglasses as a backup.
  • LASIK: LASIK is a laser surgical procedure that gently reshapes your cornea. To be a good candidate, you need to be in good health and your eyes must be free of disease. Your prescription must also fit within parameters set by the FDA. After the procedure, you will be able to see clearly without glasses or contacts.  LASIK does NOT directly treat presbyopia.  

Schedule Your Appointment

If you need treatment for a refractive error, we can help. At Karns Vision Center in Knoxville, TN, we offer a wide variety of treatment options for different refractive errors. Our professionals will help determine what method is right for you and your lifestyle. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, call us today.

Visit our Office