What is myopia?
Myopia, also called nearsightedness, is a common disease occurs when you are able to see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry.
Nearsightedness may develop gradually or rapidly, often worsening during childhood and adolescence. Nearsightedness tends to run in families.
A basic eye exam can confirm nearsightedness. You can easily correct the condition with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Another treatment option for nearsightedness is surgery.
How common is myopia?
Nearsightedness is extremely common but treatable. According to the American Optometric Association, almost 30 percent of Americans are nearsighted. Myopia is often diagnosed between the ages of 8 and 12. Your eyes are growing at this age, so the shape of your eyes can change
Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
What are the symptoms of myopia?
The common symptoms of nearsightedness are:
- Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
- The need to squint or partially close the eyelids to see clearly
- Headaches caused by eyestrain
- Difficulty seeing while driving a vehicle, especially at night (night myopia)
During your childhood and the early school years through the teens, the Nearsightedness is commonly first detected. A child with nearsightedness may:
- Persistently squint
- Need to sit closer to the television, movie screen or the front of the classroom
- Seem to be unaware of distant objects
- Blink excessively
- Rub his or her eyes frequently
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
What causes myopia?
Nearsightedness usually occurs when your eye is too long or has a cornea that’s curved too steeply. This causes the light rays entering each eye to focus in front of the retina, instead of on the retina, leading to blurry images. The exact reason for some people developing longer eyes is unknown, but it may be related to genetics or environmental conditions.
What increases my risk for myopia?
There are many risk factors for myopia, such as:
Nearsightedness tends to run in families. If one of your parents gets nearsighted, your risk of developing the condition may be increased. The risk is even higher if both parents are nearsighted.
People who do a lot of reading may be at increased risk of myopia.
Some studies support the idea that a lack of time spent outdoors may increase the chances of developing myopia.
Diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is myopia diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects that you may experience this condition, an eye examination will be performed. A complete eye exam involves a series of tests. Your eye doctor may use various instruments, aim bright lights directly at your eyes and ask you to look through several lenses. Your doctor uses these tests to examine different aspects of your eyes and vision and to determine the prescription needed to provide clear vision with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
How is myopia treated?
The purpose of treating nearsightedness is to improve the vision by helping focus light on your retina through two primary ways, the use of corrective lenses or refractive surgery.
Wearing corrective lenses treats nearsightedness by counteracting the increased curvature of your cornea or the increased length of your eye. Types of corrective lenses include:
This is a simple, safe way to correct vision problems caused by myopia. The variety of eyeglasses is wide and includes bifocals, trifocals and reading lenses.
These lenses are worn right on your eyes. They are available in a variety of types and styles, including hard, soft, extended wear, disposable, rigid gas permeable and bifocal. Ask your eye doctor about the pros and cons of contact lenses and what might be best for you.
Refractive surgery improves vision and reduces the inconvenience of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Your eye surgeon uses a laser beam to reshape the cornea. Nowadays, this type of surgery has become routine
Refractive surgical procedures for nearsightedness include:
- Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
With this procedure, your eye surgeon makes a thin, hinged flap in your cornea. He or she then uses an excimer laser to remove layers from the center of your cornea to flatten its domed shape.
- Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)
Instead of creating a flap in the cornea, the surgeon creates a flap only in the cornea’s thin protective cover (epithelium). He or she then uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea’s outer layers and flatten its curvature and then repositions the epithelial flap. You may need to wear a bandage contact lens for several days afterward to encourage healing.
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
This procedure is similar to LASEK, except the surgeon removes the epithelium.
- Intraocular lens (IOL) implant
These lenses are surgically implanted into the eye, in front of the eye’s natural lens. They may be an option for people with moderate to severe myopia
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage myopia?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with myopia:
- Have regular eye check
- Control chronic health conditions
Some certain conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can affect your vision if you don’t receive proper treatment.
- Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
- Prevent eye injuries by wearing protective eyewear when doing certain things, such as playing sports, mowing the lawn, painting or using other products with toxic fumes.
- Eat healthy foods, such as try to eat plenty of fruits, leafy greens and other vegetables.
- Don’t smoke
- Use the right corrective lenses
The right lenses optimize your vision. Having regular exams will ensure that your prescription is correct.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Myopia. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nearsightedness/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20027548 . Accessed March 3, 2017.
Myopia. http://www.healthline.com/health/nearsightedness#Prevention7 . Accessed March 3, 2017.
Myopia. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/nearsightedness-myopia . Accessed March 3, 2017.
Review Date: August 23, 2017 | Last Modified: August 23, 2017