Refractive error is a general term that refers to the visual discrepancy of your eyeball. We are all born with refractive error and as we develop our eyes grow and change shape to balance our vision. When there is an imbalance at any point in our eye, we have an error and our eye is either too weak or too powerful. This is when we require correction such as glasses, contacts, or surgery.
Examples of refractive error include myopia, which means that your eye is too powerful! Your glasses prescription will denote a minus symbol because your (concave) lenses actually have to reduce the amount of power so you can see. The opposite refractive error is hyperopia. The hyperopic eye is too weak and requires a prescription of convex lenses to add more power to the visual system.
Astigmatism is a refractive error that causes starbursts around lights, twisted or distorted vision, and overall blur. Regular astigmatism is corrected by a cylindrical lenses applied in a specific orientation from 1-180 degrees. In contact lenses, this requires a "toric" lens.
Presbyopia is the most frustrating refractive error because it changes your eye muscles ability to focus close work. It is dependent on how your eye anatomy changes over time and usually becomes symptomatic around age 40.
Amblyopia is reduced vision from not receiving adequate visual input during development. Amblyopia can be caused by high refractive error, an eye turn, or something blocking the pupil.
Turlock Eyecare optometrists have no age limits to eye exams. Optometrists have objective techniques to examine an infant or young child's eye for risk factors, even if they are unable to identify their shapes, symbols or letters on an eye chart. Don't wait until your child starts falling behind in school, bring them in for their eye exam right away. Children don't complain of blurry vision because they are unable to identify it. Waiting until they are older may result in lifelong reduced vision. Advocate for your child, schedule an eye check up.
Strabismus is the medical term for an eye that turns up, down, in or out instead of being in synchrony with the other eye. Some people also refer to it as a "lazy eye".
There are different types of strabismus that are classified based on how often they occur and which direction they deviate towards. An eye turn may be called esotropia, exotropia, hypertropia or hypotropia. Strabismus may be constant or intermittent, in one eye or both.
Strabismus may be caused by an eye muscle problem or a nerve problem. It is a health condition that will cause amblyopia in children if left untreated for too long. Turlock Eyecare optometrists can evaluate children for strabismus and recommend appropriate treatments including glasses, patching therapy, or surgical intervention, depending on the individual. Adults battle strabismus as well, more commonly from health problems like diabetes and hypertension. In adults, the first symptom is double vision which should be evaluated by an optometrist as soon as possible.