What is Myopia or Short / Near-sightedness?
It is a vision problem experienced by up to about one-third of the population. If you are Nearsighted you will have difficulty in reading signs or images at a distance. However you may have excellent vision at close range -close tasks such as reading or writing and other near vision tasks.
Myopia Symptoms and Signs
Nearsighted people often have headaches or eye strain and might squint or feel fatigued when driving or playing sports. If you experience these symptoms while wearing your glasses or contact lenses, you may need acomprehensive eye examination as well as a new prescription.
What Causes Myopia?
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. Nearsightedness runs in families and usually appears in childhood or in your early teens. This vision problem may stabilize at a certain point, although sometimes it worsens with age. This is known as myopic creep. Myopia will normally stop progressing by your late twenties or early thirties.
Nearsightedness may be corrected with glasses, contact lenses. Depending on your vision problem, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only when you need distance vision, like driving, seeing a blackboard or watching a movie. If you’re nearsighted, your prescription is a negative number. The higher the numeral, the stronger your lenses will be.
Another treatment option is Refractive surgery. This treatment can reduce or even eliminate your need for glasses or contacts. The most common procedures are performed with an exciter laser.
- In LASIK – the most common refractive procedure – a flap is cut through the top of the cornea, a laser removes some corneal tissue, and then the flap is dropped back into place.
Then there’s Orthokeratology, also known as ‘sleep lenses’. It is a non-surgical procedure where you wear special hard contact lenses usually while sleeping that slowly reshape the cornea over time to correct your myopia. When the lenses are removed, the cornea temporarily retains the new shape, so you can see clearly without the lenses.
Can myopia be cured?
Despite ongoing research, a cure for myopia has not yet been found.
Properly prescribed spectacles or contact lenses will enable a person with myopia to see clearly. Laser surgery to reshape the front surface of the eye can also help some people with myopia. Your optometrist can advise you about the latest developments and whether they would be suitable for you.
Can myopia be prevented?
There is no certain prevention for myopia; however recent research has found that some drugs may slow the progression of myopia. Research is continuing on these drugs to determine whether they can be safely used by children to prevent myopia.