Refractive error, also known as refraction error, is a problem with focusing of light on the retina due to the shape of the eye. The most common types of refractive error are near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Near-sightedness results in far objects being blurry, far-sightedness result in close objects being blurry, astigmatism causes objects to appear stretched out or blurry, and presbyopia results in a poor ability to focus on close objects. Other symptoms may include double vision, headaches, and eye strain.
Near-sightedness is due to the length of the eyeball being too long, far-sightedness the eyeball too short, astigmatism the cornea being the wrong shape, and presbyopia aging of the lens of the eye such that it cannot change shape sufficiently. Some refractive errors are inherited from a person’s parents. Diagnosis is by eye examination.