Visual Conditions

Refractive errors are the most common type of vision problem. These occur when the shape of your eye stops light from focusing correctly on your retina (the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye). Myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia are all refractive errors. The prevalence of both myopia and hyperopia is increasing.

Some other visual conditions include low vision, colour vision deficiency, binocular vision problems and accommodation (the natural focusing ability of the eye), all of which may impact on a person’s daily living tasks.

To make an appointment or discuss any concerns regarding your eye health or vision,
call our friendly team on 9816 4100.

Astigmatism is an eye condition where blurry vision is experienced at all distances. It can occur on its own, or in combination with hyperopia or myopia. Astigmatism occurs when your cornea is shaped more like a rugby ball than a soccer ball. This results in the light entering the eye focusing at two different places on the retina and leads to blurred vision.

People who have a colour vision deficiency have difficulty seeing colours – usually red-green. It is usually inherited and affects more boys than girls. The deficiency is thought to be caused by genetic changes that prevent colour-sensitive cells (cones) located in the back of the eye from functioning normally.

Colour vision deficiency is often picked up by parents if their child has difficulty recognising and identifying different colours or an inability to separate things by their colour.

Hyperopia is the most common eye condition in Australia. If you are long-sighted, you can see distant objects well, but have trouble focusing clearly on things up close, such as reading or looking at computer screens. Hyperopia is usually present at birth and, if left uncorrected, can cause symptoms such as eyestrain, headaches and end-of-day tiredness.

Low vision is the term used to describe significant and permanent visual impairment that cannot be corrected fully with optical aids, medication or surgery. Low vision can affect people of all ages and have an impact on many aspects of a person’s life. It may, for example, cause difficulty in recognising faces, reading the newspaper, seeing the television or computer screen properly, telling colours apart or seeing road signs.

Some of the causes of low vision include:

  • macular degeneration
  • cataracts
  • glaucoma
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • amblyopia
  • retinal detachment
  • acquired brain injury


Common types of low vision include:

  • loss of central vision
  • loss of peripheral (side) vision
  • blurred vision
  • reduced contrast sensitivity
  • glare light sensitivity
  • night blindness

At Boroondara Eye Care, we check for conditions that may cause low vision as part of your eye health examination. Treatment options will depend on the specific eye condition and will aim to protect your remaining vision.

Myopia is a common eye condition, affecting one in four Australians. If you are short-sighted, you do not see distant objects clearly, such as the blackboard or words on the television. You may also have trouble recognising people in the distance. Myopia usually begins in school-age children and can continue to progress until the eye stops growing. Teenagers and adults can also develop myopia.

Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your myopia and your visual needs and lifestyle.

For more information, see myopia management in children and teenagers.

Presbyopia is the gradual reduction in flexibility of your eye’s lens that occurs as a normal part of aging. It usually becomes noticeable between 40 and 50 years of age when you have difficulty focusing on near objects, so you tend to hold things further away to see them clearly. This becomes particularly apparent when reading – it gets harder to read for longer periods of time and you have to strain your eyes to see clearly.