Myopia

Myopia: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

What is Myopia

Myopia is the inability to see distant things clearly. In myopia, objects closer to eye looks clear. The distant objects appear unclear and blurred.  This vision condition is also called nearsightedness. Myopia is a common disorder that affects an estimated 25% of Americans.

Symptoms Of Myopia

Understanding symptoms of myopia can lead to timely diagnosis of myopia. Doctors can give prescription number timely and worsening of eyesight can be controlled. Common symptoms of myopia include:

  • Blurry vision: when one tries to look at faraway objects. One may not be able to see road signs clearly.
  • Eye fatigue: Eyes feel hurt and tired due to the struggle to see clearly.
  • Frequent headaches: As eyes struggle to focus on surroundings, it causes a headache.
  • Squinting: One tries to look around with a partially closed eye. This usually happens unintentionally.

Myopia In Children

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Let us tell you that Myopia is usually diagnosed from the age of 8 to 12. Parents should take their children to eye specialist regularly. He may consider a detailed eye test if he/ she holds a book closer to the eye while reading. He/ she may try to get closer to the computer/ TV screen while watching it. Usually, kids start squinting and frowning their eyes. Likewise, they lose interest in sports and activities that require visionary focus. They also feel trouble reading the whiteboard in the classroom.

Myopia usually stabilizes itself between the age of 20 to 30.

Causes Of Myopia

The scientific explanation behind the disorder of myopia is following.

Light rays are not able to focus on the surface of the retina (Light sensitive tissue in the eye) to form an image. Rather, few light rays refract. Those form an image in the front of the retina. This refraction occurs for two reasons. Firstly, it may happen if the eye grows too long from front to back. Secondly, it may be due to the fact that cornea (Outermost layer of the eye) is too curved for the length of the eye. At times, the lens of the eye may grow too thick to cause the lights rays to refract.

  1. Genetics: It can be an inherited condition. If one or both parents are nearsighted, offspring are more likely to suffer the same as well.
  2. Visual Stress: This is eyes feeling tired due to prolonged visual work such as sitting in front of the screen for long hours.
  3. Rarely, some people can become nearsighted due to certain medical conditions such as diabetes.
  4. Environmental causes: Study shows that lack of time spent outdoors points to nearsightedness. More amount of time spent indoors causes visual stress.

Usually, nearsightedness is a result of a combination of instead its genetic and environmental reasons.

Treatment Of Myopia

Myopia is not a disease. It is an eye focusing disorder. Currently, there is no treatment to reverse myopia completely. However, it can be corrected. One can take preventive measures to slow it down. The atropine eye drops can be used to slow down the progression of nearsightedness. These are the same drops that eye doctor uses to dilate the eye during the eye exam. These have to be used at ultra-high does and only on prescription from a specialist.

In most cases, myopia can be only an inconvenience. People tend to live with it using correction methods. However, in few cases, it can worsen and become degenerative myopia. This is the case of severe loss of vision. More severe cases can lead to retinal detachment and glaucoma.

Correction Of Myopia

Myopia can be corrected with the use of lenses. Patients can use these lenses as spectacles or as contact lenses. The lens used is the concave lens.  They spread the light rays and refocus them. Hence,  the image formed is directly on the retina of the eye. Doctors write the prescription as negative (-) with the word spherical.

Health professionals prefer high-index lenses for glasses as these are thinner and lighter in weight. Anti-reflective coating is another bonus as it reduces the use of separate glasses for outdoors.

Apart from these, doctors recommend LASIK surgery for long term correction of shortsightedness. In LASIK, surgeons open a thin layer of the cornea. Using laser, the eye is reshaped by removing some tissue. Limited correction is possible. Doctors and patients discuss these details in advance.

Another surgical option is Cataract surgery. The cloudy portion of the lens is removed. In replacement, surgeons insert an artificial lens. New lens help to bend light rays and restore vision.

One must visit an eye specialist and discuss the best suitable vision correction method.

Prevention Of Myopia

There are no set causes which trigger nearsightedness. One must practice preventive measures to stop or slow down the worsening of myopia. Few of these are here:

  • Improve general diet. Eat a variety of foods from all food groups. Green leafy vegetables are helpful in minimizing the effects of myopia.
  • Doctors recommend supplements containing omega- 3 fatty acids
  • Go for a regular walk-in outdoor area, preferably during the daytime. Long hours of exposure to sunlight protects the eye from worsening of myopia.
  • Do eye exercises.
  • Check your eyesight on a regular basis.
  • Take regular breaks during screen time.
  • Wear prescribed glasses all the time.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Don’t use mobile or other screens in dark.

Conclusion

Myopia, nearsightedness, is the inability to see distant things clearly. Objects placed at fee feet distance appear vague and blurred. One must consider its symptoms. Timely diagnosis leads to the prescription of the corrective number of glasses. Its usually caused due to light rays not able to focus on the surface of the retina. Currently, there is no specific cure to reverse myopia. Corrective methods and preventive measures have proved to be helpful in managing myopia.

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