Myopia

Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For and how to deal with the condition

What is Myopia?

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is the most common refractive error of the eye, and it has become more prevalent in recent years.  It has something to do with eye fatigue from computer use and other extended near vision tasks, coupled with a genetic predisposition for myopia

Signs and Symptoms of Myopia

If you are nearsighted, you typically will have difficulty reading road signs and seeing distant objects clearly, but will be able to see well for close-up tasks such as reading and computer use. Other signs and symptoms of myopia include squinting, eye strain and headaches. Feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports also can be a symptom of uncorrected nearsightedness. If you experience these signs or symptoms while wearing your glasses or contact lenses, schedule a comprehensive eye examination with your optometrist or ophthalmologist to see if you need a stronger prescription.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long, relative to the focusing power of the cornea and lens of the eye. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. Nearsightedness also can be caused by the cornea and/or lens being too curved for the length of the eyeball. In some cases, myopia is due to a combination of these factors. Myopia typically begins in childhood and you may have a higher risk if your parents are nearsighted. In most cases, nearsightedness stabilizes in early adulthood but sometimes it continues to progress with age.

Treatment for Myopia

Nearsightedness can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. Depending on the degree of your myopia, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only when you need very clear distance vision, like when driving, seeing a chalkboard or watching a movie. Good choices for eyeglass lenses for nearsightedness include high-index lenses (for thinner, lighter glasses) and anti-reflective coating. Also, consider photochromic lenses to protect your eyes from UV and high-energy blue light and to reduce your need for a separate pair of prescription sunglasses outdoors.

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