Visual impairment in adults: Refractive disorders and presbyopia
- Shahzad I Mian, MD
Shahzad I Mian, MD
- Terr J. Bergstrom Professor, Associate Professor
- W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
- University of Michigan Medical School
Refractive errors are a common, correctable cause of impaired vision throughout the world.
The normal eye creates a clear image by bending (refracting) light to focus onto the retina. Refractive errors occur when a component of the eye's optical system fails to focus the optical image.
This topic will cover the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of refractive errors in adults. Refractive errors in children and laser refractive treatment are discussed separately. (See "Refractive errors in children" and "Laser refractive surgery".)
FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY OF THE EYE
The eye's ability to focus is dependent on the eye's optical system, which consists of two refractive surfaces working in tandem: the cornea and the crystalline lens (figure 1).
The cornea is the more powerful refractive element, accounting for two thirds of the eye's refractive power. The lens provides the remaining one third, for a total refractive power of 60 diopters (D). Refractive power of the eye and corrective lenses is measured in diopters, where a diopter is the reciprocal of the focal length measured in meters. The focal length is the distance from a lens to its focus or focal point.To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY OF THE EYE
- - Myopia
- - Hyperopia
- - Astigmatism
- Risk factors
- - Myopia
- - Hyperopia
- CLINICAL CONSEQUENCES
- Associated eye disorders
- SCREENING AND DIAGNOSTIC TESTS
- Corrective lenses
- - Interpreting the prescription
- Surgical correction
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS