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Today it's imperative that we all have the ability to have 20/20 vision; or as close as we can get to that with vision correction. Reading, working on computers, writing, typing, driving, grocery shopping, truly we use our eyes all the time. Every minute of every day we receive millions of things to view and all this input goes into our eyes. Most of us simply take proper corrective vision for granted.

Here at the Long Vision Center, we are dedicated to making sure your eyes have proper eye care and that they stay in good health. Dr. Long has dedicated his life to education, on-going training, and being proficient in how to make this happen. Vision Correction is perhaps the single most important aspect of his job.

What is a refractive error? A refractive error is the largest and most common eye problem for all ages of people. When the shape of the eye is abnormal, the eye doesn't bend (or refract) light properly and vision is blurred. Bottom line, you can't see what you are supposed to.

If your vision blurs when you are looking at objects near or far, you should get an eye exam. The process of having a patient look through lenses of progressively stronger or weaker power is called refraction. With this exam, Dr. Long can diagnose the exact nature of your challenge, and provide you with a satisfactory option to consider as a resolution during his consultation.

Refractive errors are just one potential cause of blurred vision, and Dr. Long believes that is important to have an examination right away if you are experiencing symptoms or not seeing as well up close or far away. Here is some helpful information that may answer your questions:

Types of Refractive Errors

There are four common refractive errors, and it is possible to have more than one of these at once:

  • Myopia (also called nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (also called farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism (distorted vision)
  • Presbyopia (an aging eye)

Myopia

- A myopic eye is longer than normal or has a cornea that is too steep, so that the light rays focus in front of the retina. Close objects look clear, but distant objects can appear blurred.

Hyperopia

- A hyperopic eye is shorter than normal. Light from close objects cannot focus clearly on the retina. The words on a page may seem blurry, or it will be difficult to see to thread a needle.

Astigmatism

- Astigmatism distorts or blurs vision for both near and far objects. It's almost like looking into a fun house mirror in which you appear too tall, too wide or too thin. When you have astigmatism, the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) curves more in one direction than in the other like a football. A normal cornea is round and smooth, like a basketball. It is possible to have astigmatism in combination with myopia or hyperopia.

Presbyopia

- You may start to notice presbyopia around the age of 40, when you may begin to find that you have hold reading materials farther away from your face in order to see them clearly. This familiar event is quite common and is often the first sign of presbyopia, which, if left uncorrected, can cause eye fatigue and headaches.

What is the Good News?

These common conditions affecting millions of people are usually correctable. With the proper exam, Dr. Long can discuss with you the proper treatment for the conditions you are experiencing. He will also discuss regular preventative treatment options and exams to make sure your eyes maintain proper correction.

What About Correction of Your Vision?

- We understand you are concerned that you have a proper diagnosis and correction so let's talk about that.

Correcting Your Vision is extremely important. There are several alternatives for correcting your vision. You should discuss your vision and your lifestyle with Dr. Long to decide which of these will be best for you.

Eyeglasses and contact lenses are the most common methods of correcting refractive errors. They work by refocusing light rays on the retina, compensating for the shape of your eye. The Long Vision Center in Sherman Texas is equipped to provide you with a proper exam, and prescribe both eyeglasses and contact lenses. We currently serve the entire North Texas Texoma region and include Denison, Pottsboro, Bells Bonham and towns in Grayson county.

Refractive surgery is also an option for correcting or improving your vision. This surgical procedure is used to adjust your eye's focusing ability by reshaping the cornea, or front surface of your eye. The most widely performed type of refractive surgery is called LASIK. Previous articles in this News area of our website discuss at length Lasik, and we encourage you to read and discuss any questions you may have with Dr. Long at your earliest opportunity.

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Call us right now at 903) 892-2020 and let us schedule an appointment for your initial exam.

The information contained in this article was last reviewed and updated in February 2009, by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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