Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Refractive errors

A refractive error is the most common eye problem. When the shape of the eye is abnormal, the eye doesn't bend (or refract) light properly, and so vision is blurred.

The most common types of refractive errors are:

  • Long sightedness (hypermetropia), causing blurred close and distance vision.
  • Short sightedness (myopia) causing blurred long distance vision.
  • Astigmatism, which causes an uneven focus of light and blurred vision.
  • Presbyopia, which is most common with people over 40 years of age and makes close work difficult.

These errors can be corrected after being prescribed glasses or contact lenses. Surgery might also be an option.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about refractive errors.

Last reviewed: October 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 13 results

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is type of refractive error where the front surface of the eye (the cornea) or the lens inside the eye has an irregular curvature which causes the vision to be distorted and blurred.

Read more on myDr website

Eyesight problems: when you need glasses - myDr.com.au

How is your eyesight? Find out about short-sightedness, long-sightedness and presbyopia - common conditions that affect vision.

Read more on myDr website

Teen Health - Health Topics - Vision - short sightedness (myopia)

Myopia is commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness. It means that the eye is unable to focus the light from objects that are far away, making them seem blurry.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Vision - short sightedness (myopia)

Myopia is commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness. It means that the eye is unable to focus the light from objects that are far away, making them seem blurry.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Amblyopia (lazy eye) - myDr.com.au

Amblyopia (sometimes also known as lazy eye ) affects about 3 per cent of children. Read about the causes and treatment for amblyopia.

Read more on myDr website

Eyes - Common problems

You can help prevent dry eyes and minimise the risk of tired or sore eyes while reading or using a computer.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Eye Health | Common Eye Conditions | Glossary of Eye Conditions

A glossary of eye conditions including information on cataract, diabetic retinopathy, as well as definitions of myopia, hyperopia, and glaucoma. Read more.

Read more on Fred Hollows Foundation website

Blindness and vision loss

Read more on Vision Australia website

Background information Reviews Eye health Other health conditions Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

/uploads/docs/eye-background.pdf

Read more on Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website

Indigenous Australia Program | Fred Hollows

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander adults are six times more likely to go blind, but 94% of this is preventable or treatable. Here's what we're doing about it.

Read more on Fred Hollows Foundation website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback