Nearsightedness, Farsightedness and Astigmatism (Salt Lake City, Lehi, Utah)*

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Understanding your eye

Having a refractive error means that the shape of your eye does not allow light to bend correctly, causing a blurred or incorrect image. The most common types of refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Aaron Waite is a highly skilled eye surgeon who helps hundreds of patients each year obtain perfect vision using LASIK, PRK, ICLs, RLE and refractive cataract surgery proven to cure refractive errors. Waite Vision is located in Lehi, UT but proudly serves all of Utah including Salt Lake County, Utah County and the Wasatch Front.


Ideally, the cornea is perfectly round, like a basketball. However, if the cornea is abnormally curved, like a football, it creates a condition called astigmatism. It is a very common condition that causes blurred vision since cornea (lens) stops light from focusing correctly on the retina. Astigmatism is classified as either regular (present at birth) or irregular (caused by an injury, disease, or surgery). If left untreated, astigmatism can cause eye fatigue, headaches, squinting, and pain in the eye muscles.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Affecting a fourth of the population, hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, occurs when an individual has difficulties focusing on images or objects close-up. Individuals with farsightedness can typically see well from far away but nearby objects appear blurry. Not only can farsightedness decrease the range of vision, but it can also cause an array of other unpleasant symptoms.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

One of the most common refractive errors, nearsightedness is a vision condition that makes anything far away appear blurry. Nearsightedness (myopia) affects nearly 30 percent of the population of the United States. If you have nearsightedness, you can typically see well close-up but have difficulty viewing images from a distance, such as road signs while driving.


The most common symptom of a refractive vision error is blurred vision. However, symptoms present differently for everyone and your symptoms may be unique. Here are a few common symptoms associated with a refractive vision error:

  • Double vision
  • Haziness
  • Glare or halos around bright lights
  • Headaches
  • Migraines with or without "aura"
  • Eye strain
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Trouble seeing at a distance
  • Trouble seeing up close


Overuse of your eyes does not cause or worsen refractive vision errors, in fact, more often than not, a refractive vision error is inherited at birth and discovered during childhood. Myopia may progress throughout the teenage years, becoming worse with each passing year. Hyperopia can actually lessen as a child grows, becoming better in adulthood. Astigmatism is almost always inherited at birth, but it can also be caused by eye disease (such as keratoconus) or physical trauma.


Refractive vision errors are typically detected prior to your visit to Waite Vision. However, Dr. Waite will likely perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine the extent of your visual impairment and create a treatment plan to correct your vision. These tests could include:

Corneal Topography - a painless test which captures a 3D image of your eye

Retinoscopy - objectively measures the pattern of reflection in the eye to determine the extent of visual error

Treatment Options

Common visual errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are often treated with glasses and/or contacts. But for those with severe visual errors, whose daily lives are drastically affected by their poor vision, Dr. Waite may recommend surgical vision correction. Waite Vision offers a number of procedures that can successfully return your clear vision, depending on the cause and severity of your condition. Refractive errors can be cured with refractive surgery. LASIK is the most well-known type of refractive surgery. It has a quick recovery and phenomenal visual results. Other types of refractive surgery include PRK, SMILE, implantable collamer lenses (ICLs), refractive lens exchange (RLE) and corneal inlays. Each technique is slightly unique and well-suited for the different eye conditions. The best way to determine which method is appropriate for you is to schedule a no-cost advanced ocular analysis at Waite Vision. Many individuals who have been told they are not a candidate for LASIK may indeed be good candidates for another refractive surgery procedure.

Seek Clarity

If you are struggling to see clearly due to nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, we encourage you to come by our practice and visit with our ophthalmologist, Dr. Aaron Waite. During your appointment, he can examine your eyes and help you know if LASIK or another refractive surgery procedure can help you regain clear vision. Call us today at 801-876-6000 to learn more, or click the button above to schedule your consultation.

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