Refractive error is a common term used in the ‘medical’ community when discussing myopia.  The whole premise is a ridiculously stupid as it is flawed, and in this most eloquently scientific and unbiased article we’ll find out exactly how and why.


Jake, the unholiest of holiness has an idea today, darling kittehs.  An idea, for you.

An idea specifically for content for our esteemed video sermon pulpit, the endmyopia Youtubes.  While the title sort of already gives it away, here’s more of the temptingly delicious premise:

We find moronic ideas spouted by the countless intellectual midgets of modern “medical optometry”.  Find them and make fun of them.  With science!

Ideas such as for today’s example, the “refractive error”.

Before you click out of this whole post suspecting a snooze fest, just hear me out for a few more seconds.  Let me give you the entirely tempting benefits of this idea real quickly.  Chiefly the amusing benefit, making arrogant so-called professionals look stupid.  This in itself is always a worthwhile and humanity furthering pursuit, one that you might also know of by the more popular term of trolling.  

Indeed, kittehs.  A darling eye guru is suggesting some really nerdy, really obscure (but hard core) trolling.  Trolling of the intellectually diminutive but ego-outsized credentialed idiot-not-savants appointed by mainstream ‘medicine’.  

Come on.  You know you want to!

Here’s the short and sensible version of why “refractive error” is a dumb idea, propagated by dumb people.

Let’s start with the basics:

What’s A Refractive State?

Wikipedia:  When light moves from one medium to another, it changes direction, i.e. it is refracted. If it moves from a medium with refractive index n1 to one with refractive index n2, with an incidence angle to the surface normalof θ1, the refraction angle θ2 can be calculated from Snell’s law:[30]

Refraction, or light being focused from the external environment onto a single point of your retina.  That’s where it begins its journey of being translated into what you ‘see’ inside of your darling brain’s visual cortex.  

In the case of the eye, refraction happens in the cornea and lens of the eye:

refractive state of the eye

Pesky biology lesson.

Most of the refraction actually happens in the cornea, which is largely a fixed value.

The rest of refraction is up to the lens.  The lens refraction is variable and moved by the ciliary muscle.  Your ciliary muscles become increasingly tense as you move an object you focus on closer to your eyes, shaping the lens actively to change refraction for near vision (ie. accommodation).

Here’s another visual:

Accommodation and refractive error

Simple, really.

All this is to say, the bits in the eye refract, or focus light on a specific, desired point.

More visual:

normal refraction

Happy refracting.

So there’s the basics.  Really not complicated once you break it down.

Now here comes the part that the dumb clowns refer to as “refractive error”.  Ready for some more simple science, troll ammunition?

The Refractive Error

This is a core argument that clownshoe makes for the cause of myopia.  The “refractive error”.

As you may have guessed based on the quick biology primer above, the refractive error is when light fails to properly focus on the retina of the eye.  In the case of myopia the eye focuses too soon, before the retina, causing blurry distance vision.  It’s sort of the premature ejecu focusing of the eye.

Or is it.

There’s another piece to the refraction puzzle, which is axial length:

false notion of refractive error

A key piece.

Axial length of the eye is where things get interesting.

Clownshoes will tell you that axial length of the eye is fixed, or that it changes only in childhood.  Or other assorted non-scieintifically validated, and generally mind numbingly dumb ideas.

In fact, axial length is how your eye actively addresses refraction.

Where the light focuses in your eye is affected by the cornea and lens.  However, where that focus point is, ie where your retina is in this picture, that turns out to be another flexible part of the refraction puzzle.  

If you haven’t read this post and specifically the study quoted in it, you absolutely need to.  It explains how the human eye, all throughout your life, adjusts in length in order to get the correct refractive state.  This state is relative to environmental stimulus (ie moving the target itself to make sure it – the refracted light – hits just the right spot).

Really above external bit of link action is a key piece of the argument against refractive “error”.

Because what happens in actual reality, and not clownshoe world of made up ‘medical’ concepts, is that your eye looks at its environment and refraction.  Based on this environmental stimulus the eye makes continual adjustments to make sure you can see clearly.

Now you say but I can’t see clearly far away, Jake.

And here is the core of the matter:

It’s A Refractive State

It’s only an error if it’s wrong.

But what if actually it’s a refractive state rather than an error, which we might conclude if we’re going to use proper physics and not murky bullshit ‘medical’ terminology.

More specifically, we might discover a minus state for myopia.

Here’s what’s happening, based on what you already know from this article so far:  You look up close a lot.  Your ciliary (focusing) muscle is taxed heavily, being in a state of high contraction to move the lens of your eye to provide refraction for close-up.  A combination of a resulting ciliary muscle spasm and a potentially resulting elongation of the eyeball happen to reduce the ciliary spasm.  This happens by moving the point of refraction further back in the eye, based on the environmental input of lots of close-up vision which ultimately causes your refractive state to be changed.

If a guru did merchandise …

Another way to look at refractive state:  Close-up vision = minus state.  This is directly expressed in minus diopters, or the equivalent centimeter distance of your focus.  Yes when you look up close, you are in a a state of minus (diopter equivalent).  Habitual minus diopters tell the eye’s adaptive axial biology that the default state has changed towards more minus.  Minus equals more axial length required, and the eye dutifully elongates.

It’s just biology.  And reality.  And optics.  

This is a premise so simple if you use sanity and unbiased biology and physics as a basis, not voodoo ‘medical’ pseudo-bullshizits ideas.  One of these ideas of course is meant to tell you that you’re broken and you need to buy some ‘prescription’ products.

Speaking from a standpoint of unbiased and accurate physics and optics, you can only look at myopia as a minus refractive state.  Or, a negative state.  And you wear minus lenses to address it and change the state again for clear distance vision (as a quick fix at least).

Let’s look at how the minus refractive state is addressed, using optics:

refractive state, not error

Oh just look at it!

Minus state.  Eyeball is elongated to adapt to primary focal plane.  Add a minus lens to compensate and move the refractive state for distance vision.

 Of course above is a shitty graphic, as most graphics that we borrow from the Internet.  The missing point is that the eye is elongated, allowing light to focus on the retina with minimal biological energy expense (ciliary muscle contraction) while in close-up mode.  It’s furthermore a response to minus lens caused hyperopic defocus, when too much minus introduces stimulus to cause the eye to further elongate.  

Now riddle me this, darlings.

Where is there an error in any of this so far?

Refractive Error Is Retard-Speak

Yes, it’s one of those days.  Fire all weapons.

If you go through above pieces of the argument, look at the biology (refraction), and look at the clinical studies (link to axial change data), look at how the eye responds to stimulus.   Look at the simple facts of how optical phenomena are described in actual physics (not made-up la-la ‘medicine’ land), there’s simply no error anywhere.  Just states.

The eye?  No error.  Functional adaptation of state via axial change.  

The refraction?  No error.  State of being targeted at primary focal plane distance requiring the least ongoing energy expense of the biology to maintain (ie. less ciliary muscle contraction).

refractive error retard speak

Oh hello there, stupid.

Show me the error!

Just Call It Refractive Profit 

You know where there’s error?  Where there’s profit, that’s where.

“Oh I’m sorry, darling.  You’re broken.  You’re an error.  We have to fix your error, and don’t you worry about this being a retail store, with two-for-one promotions and sales and deceptive advertising and all that.  Don’t you worry because this is ‘medicine’.”

You’re seeing it, the puzzle pieces.  

Words are subtly tweaked, fabricated, removed ever so lightly from unbiased reality.  We say state, they say error.  A state you can change yourself, an error you need them for.

Look, focal plane changing lens stock charts!

Oh hey there, lens maker.

Sure we can trust them though, despite this glaring conflict of interests.

Corrective lenses?  Well yes!

If an eye guru is right and the truth heard, then their stock charts would be shit.

Double it!

And as you might already know, Scrooge McJakenstein owns a ton of various optometry industry supporting stock.

Because as much as we’re hippie here, we also like to bet on the winning horse.

Moral Of The Refractive Error Story

Maybe they aren’t stupid at all.

Maybe they’re geniuses, the ones who came up with the words (and perhaps not the ones mindlessly parroting at you).  Twisting reality and calling it ‘medicine’ and creating a global monopoly on myopia knowledge.  The Monsanto of refractive reality, the global optometry mafia medical establishment.  

The real moral of the story is that refractive error is the trojan horse of your distance vision reality.  

Or more guru-sagely put:  What you believe is how you end up seeing the world.