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The diopter is a unit of measurement used to describe how well a person sees.

Farsightedness is measured in positive diopters, and nearsightedness is measured in negative diopters. Astigmatism is measured in diopters that can be either positive or negative.

With diopters, the farther a measurement is from 0, the more severe the refractive error. For example, if a person has -4 diopters of nearsightedness, it means that the farthest point you can see clearly is one-fourth of a meter (about 10 inches) from your eye.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerChristopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.