What is Myopia?

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.

Myopia Causes

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.

The exact cause of myopia is unknown, however, many factors point to genetics. In recent years, studies have shown environmental causes such as lack of time spent outside or an increased focus on reading, writing, or use of a computer for near vision work has had a significant effect on the ability to see clearly at distances. 

Myopia Symptoms

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.

For any prescription with -6.0 or more diopters, the patient is considered to have high myopia. Patients with a higher prescription can be more at risk for retinal detachments, cataracts, or glaucoma. It is important to have yearly checkups to monitor any changes as these conditions can eventually lead to vision loss.

Pathological myopia, also called degenerative or malignant myopia, occurs when there is severe elongation of eye and can lead to serious complications within the retina, optic nerve, choroid, vitreous, and sclera. Onset for this condition appears in childhood and can worsen throughout early adulthood. If not monitored, this condition can lead to increased risk for retinal detachments, glaucoma, and cataracts, all of which can be managed and/or treated by a professional.

Once the prescription stabilizes, a comprehensive eye exam can easily diagnose myopia through a series of tests. There are many options available for treatment depending on the severity of the prescription.

Treatment Options

For anyone seeking a more long-term solution for this refractive error, 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 lenses or glasses. Contact us to discuss your treatment options and schedule an appointment today.

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.

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