Myopia is a vision condition that causes nearby objects to be seen clearly whilst faraway objects are blurry. Myopia can either be mild, moderate, or severe. Nearsightedness, as myopia is commonly referred to as, is caused by a refractive error.
Causes of Myopia
In a myopic eye, incoming light rays are focused in front of the retina opposed to directly on its surface. This can be the result of either an eyeball that is too long, or a cornea that is too curved. It is possible for myopia to be caused by a combination of both problems.
Why Does the Eyeball Grow Too Long?
The reason behind excessive eyeball growth is not entirely known. Some research suggest that myopia can be inherited. Other research suggests that too much close-up work may develop myopia. So far, neither theory has been concluded.
Signs & Symptoms of Myopia
A myopic eye presents difficulty in seeing things far away. Common symptoms of myopia are headaches and eyestrain from struggling to focus distant objects. Difficulty seeing the television or reading road signs are prime examples of how myopia symptoms present.
If you are worried that your child may be nearsighted, watch closely for these signs. Children with myopia tend to sit in the front of class and very close to the TV. Also, they may not perform as well in sports that require distance vision opposed to those that do not.
What Treatments Are Available?
The most common way to treat myopia is prescribed lenses. Prescribed lenses can either be eyeglasses or contact lenses. The lens works to compensate for the curvature of your cornea or elongated eye.
By wearing prescribed lenses, incoming light is focused directly onto your retina, correcting your refractive error. Generally, contact lenses provide the user with a wider field of corrected vision opposed to eyeglasses. Contact lenses are applied directly on the cornea, removing the need for frames.
Your prescription strength will vary depending on your severity of myopia. Some patients may be required to wear corrective lenses at all times whilst others may only need the for certain tasks, such as driving.
Aside from corrective lenses, refractive surgery is an available treatment option for myopia. Refractive surgery (laser eye surgery) is a permanent method of correction that eliminates the need for corrective lenses. Procedures such as LASIK reshape your cornea to focus light directly onto the retina.
When to See The Doctor
It is important to schedule an eye examination with an optometrist after experiencing any of the signs and symptoms listed above. During an eye examination, the optometrist will be able diagnose the source of your vision problem and its severity.
Following the examination, the optometrist will be able to discuss all treatment options in detail if corrective action is required.