Refractive vision errors affect everyone, yet leaving these issues uncorrected can lead to numerous negative impacts, including related health concerns. Vision concerns in the workplace can lead to accidents, injuries, and long-term impacts to the life and career of workers.

Advances in vision care have brought a range of prescription eyeglass options for people with refractive errors, reducing vision impairment and leading to more productivity and a better quality of life and work. Companies have a say in this battle. They can improve employees’ wellbeing and productivity by treating visual impairments through prescription eyewear programs.

Astigmatism, myopia, hyperopia, and presbyopia are types of refractive vision errors that can happen to anyone, but they are often genetically determined. Refractive errors can be caused by problems with the shape of the cornea or lens, the eyeball growing too long or too short, or just the general aging of the eyes.

Man wearing glasses

Astigmatism is a common refractive vision error resulting from an abnormal shape of the cornea or lens. In this condition, the eye does not focus light evenly on the retina, rather the focal point of the light is distorted. This causes objects up close or a further distance to appear blurry or distorted.

People with astigmatism may also have trouble seeing at night or need to squint to see clearly. It may also be combined with near-sightedness or far-sightedness. People can be born with astigmatism or develop it later in life. A dilated eye exam can be used to check for astigmatism. Fortunately, astigmatism can be corrected with prescription eyewear, but if left untreated, can result in headaches and eye strain.

Myopia is a refractive error that makes distant objects appear blurry or out of focus; it’s commonly known as nearsightedness, meaning you can see things that are nearby easier. Myopia results from problems with the shape of the cornea or lens or from the eyeball growing too long from front to back. This causes refracted light to focus in front of the retina, rather than on it. Symptoms include trouble seeing things far away, eye strain, and squinting to see.

Prescription eyeglasses help to correct myopia by adjusting the focus to the retina. Proper eye care should both correct far vision and reduce strain for nearer objects. People with myopia often prefer eyeglasses as they can be put on during specific activities, like reading or working on a computer.

woman wearing safety glasses

In contrast to myopia, hyperopia causes nearby objects to appear out of focus and further objects may be easier to see. Commonly known as farsightedness, hyperopia causes the light emitted into the eyes to be focused behind the retina.

Hyperopia is corrected with convex prescription lenses, which are thin around the edge and thicker at the centre to restore vision.

Everyone may develop presbyopia, usually after age 45. As we age, the lens of our eyes becomes harder, and has a more difficult time focusing.

People with this refractive vision error have difficulties seeing things up close, such as a computer screen, and may develop headaches and eye strain.

Prescription eyeglasses with progressive or photochromic lenses are used to treat presbyopia. Bifocal glasses are literally separated in two, with the top half designed for seeing far distances and the bottom for reading. Trifocals add an extra section for mid-focus work, like using a computer or a tablet.

To find out more contact your local Service Centre!