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Refractive error is a condition that causes blurred vision when
light rays entering the eye meet in front of or behind the retina rather than
directly on it.
Normally, light rays are bent (refracted) by the cornea and lens
and focus directly on the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye, which
results in clear vision.
In most cases, refractive errors represent a natural variation from
normal vision and are not considered a disease. Nearsightedness,
farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia are common refractive
Vision usually can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses or,
in some cases, surgery.
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
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