What Are Refractive Errors? 

Refractive errors are common eye conditions that occur when the shape of your eye means light can’t focus correctly on your retina. This makes objects appear blurry. Common refractive errors include: 

  • Myopia: Nearsightedness
  • Hyperopia: Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism: An irregularly shaped cornea or lens
  • Presbyopia: Age-related vision loss

The Symptoms

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Squinting and headaches
  • Eye strain, pain, and discomfort
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How Are Refractive Errors Corrected?

When you’re diagnosed with a refractive error, the first line of defense is usually a new pair of glasses or contact lenses. However, many of our Torrance patients report problems with these solutions. These problems can range from small inconveniences to significant challenges that prompt them to explore other options, including corrective eye surgery.

Common Problems With Glasses

Correction Can Be Limited

With refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, the correction possible with glasses may be limited. In these cases, you’ll notice that objects remain blurry, even when you’re wearing your frames. 

They Can Be Inconvenient

Depending on your lifestyle, relying on glasses for your eyesight can be inconvenient. They are prone to damage and can impact your peripheral vision. If your vision is severely impaired, you may find it difficult to locate your glasses each morning. And finally, they can be a nuisance when you’re running or exercising vigorously.

They Aren’t Suitable for Everyone

For many people, glasses are a convenient and accessible way to sharpen their blurry vision. However, there are times when glasses can’t correct your issue entirely. This is often the case when your eyesight changes due to age-related problems, for example if you develop cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. 

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Common Problems With Contact Lenses

They Can Be Uncomfortable

If an eyelash or a piece of dirt gets stuck beneath your contacts, it can be extremely uncomfortable, especially if you’re driving. Fixing the issue involves removing and cleaning the lens and flushing your eye with water. 

They Can Cause Blurry Vision

If your contact gets dirty, wet, or damaged, it can result in blurry vision. 

You May Be More Prone to Infections

Because you use your fingers to insert and remove your contact lenses each day, you are at risk for increased eye infections. To reduce your risk, it’s important to wash your hands and follow the proper care instructions for your lenses. 

Dry Eyes Are Common

Because contacts rest on the surface of your eye, they can interfere with your body’s natural ability to hydrate your eyes. Over time, this can result in chronically dry eyes, which can cause even more discomfort, along with redness and irritation. 

When Glasses and Contacts Aren’t the Right Fit

If you’re tired of relying on contact lenses and glasses to correct your vision, refractive surgery may be a better option. As a general rule, we’re able to achieve a 20/20 vision or better with this approach. Complications are rare with these procedures, and most of our Long Beach patients are very happy with their results. 

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The Benefits of Eye Surgery

  • Long-term correction for many vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism
  • Reduce your need for glasses and contact lenses
  • Quick and painless procedure
  • Short recovery time
  • Long-lasting and predictable results
  • High satisfaction rate

Is Eye Surgery Right for You?

While glasses and contacts can help with most refractive errors, there may come a time when you’re ready for a long-term and hassle-free solution. Fortunately, corrective eye surgery is safe and appropriate for most of our patients. In general, you’ll be considered a candidate if you:

  • Are 18+ years of age
  • Have had a stable prescription for the past two years
  • Don’t have severe dry eye and certain serious eye problems or medical conditions
  • Understand that you may need to wear glasses in certain conditions, for example, when driving at night
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Schedule an Appointment

Are you ready to plan your laser eye surgery? The first step is scheduling an appointment at our Long Beach office with leading eye specialist, Dr. Erica Liu. 

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