Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one of the most common refractive errors of the eye. Someone with myopia typically has a hard time reading road signs or seeing distant objects clearly, but has the ability to see objects up close such as a phone or computer without any problems. Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long. This causes rays of light to focus at a point in front of the retina instead of directly on it. It can also be caused by the cornea or lens being too curved, or a combination of the two.
Most individuals can easily deal with the symptoms of myopia by simply wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Besides distant images appearing blurry, other signs and symptoms of myopia include eyestrain, squinting, eye fatigue or headaches. Those who often feel tired when driving or playing sports are typically signs they are experiencing uncorrected nearsightedness. It is also possible for people to have this feeling while wearing glasses or contacts; if this is the case, they may need a stronger prescription.
Myopia tends to begin in childhood and in most scenarios will stabilize within early adulthood. Once the prescription stabilizes, there are many options available for treatment.
For anyone seeking a more long-term solution, surgical options are available to eliminate the need for glasses. Common treatments to correct this condition include lens implants, different kinds of refractive surgeries, and corrective lenses like contact lens or glasses.
LASIK and PRK are two types of refractive surgery that can correct this condition. Both involve reshaping the eye. LASIK uses a laser to reshape the cornea by removing parts of the layers underneath it. PRK reshapes the outer part of the eye by discarding a part of the epithelium and then lets it heal to correct the problem.
If you are not a candidate for LASIK or PRK, you may be a candidate for ICL, or an implantable collamer lens. An ICL is a small lens that is a removable implant that is placed inside the eye to provide patients with high-quality vision that is both sharp and clear without removing corneal tissue. ICL is an excellent option for patients with moderate to high myopia or nearsightedness (-3.0 D to -20.0 D) with or without astigmatism.