What is an Ophthalmic Refractometer?

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man user

EyeQue Team

man user

August 23, 2018

ophthalmic refractometer

Have you ever been to your eye doctor’s office and felt like they are speaking a completely different language? One of the phrases may have included the word ophthalmic refractometer.

What is a Refractometer?

It is a device used to measure the lens strength and power for glasses needed to correct vision. It helps your doctor identify refractive errors in your vision. Refractive errors prevent light from entering the eyes to focus properly on your retina. Restricted light entering the eye negatively impacts your vision. The most common conditions causing refractive errors include:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism

Measurements provided by the refractometer help your eye care professional write a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Myopia and hyperopia errors

The refractometer measures the severity of the error in diopters if you are nearsighted (indicated with – sign) or farsighted (indicated with a + sign). It calculates the power of the lens needed to correct the error.

Astigmatism levels and location

When you have astigmatism, your eye is shaped like a football, whereas people without astigmatism have perfectly round eyes. The refractometer identifies how severe your astigmatism is and the axis (or angle) it is located in your eye.

Pupillary Distance (PD)

Your PD refers to the distance between the center of your pupils. PD ensures your glasses properly align with your pupils. PD is not measured by refractometer, but are necessary to order glasses.
You can measure your own pupillary distance at home with a PD ruler or our new PDCheck.

Did you know you can find the measurements you need to order your eyeglasses listed above with EyeQue? The EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker (PVT) is an ophthalmic refractometer you can use at home.

Click here to learn more.

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