Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. Difficulty in clearly seeing a movie or any TV screen or the whiteboard in school is common in people with myopia.
Myopia occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea (the clear front cover of the eye) is too curved. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused correctly, and distant objects look blurred.
Myopia affects nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population. While the exact cause of myopia is unknown, there is significant evidence that many people inherit myopia, or at least the tendency to develop myopia. If one or both parents are nearsighted, there is an increased chance their children will be nearsighted.
How a person uses his or her eyes can be a causative factor in myopia development, even though the occurrence is mainly due to inheritance. People spending a good amount of time reading, doing some intense visual work or working at a computer, may be more likely to develop myopia.
Generally, myopia first occurs in school-age children. Because the eye continues to grow during childhood, it typically progresses until about age 20. However, myopia may also develop in adults due to visual stress or health conditions such as diabetes.
There are many frauds in the world, engineered by greedy, unscrupulous people. Getting shoddy goods, or losing one’s money entirely is common. But what about a situation where you lose your money and your most precious gift, your vision, at the same time? And what if this is happening to defenseless children in every country of the world?
Over one third of our children, although born with normal vision, become nearsighted during their school years. Many have deteriorated vision to the point of being declared legally blind if it were not for the support of glasses and contact lenses to turn to. In some Asian countries with high literacy rate, the incidence of acquired myopia has been increasing and over 90% of college students are seen to have nearsightedness. The eye doctors claim this is hereditary, even when there is no history of the problem in the family. This could solely be due to excessive reading habits with compromised visibility resulting in a continuous eye strain.
Myopia may also occur due to environmental factors or other health problems:
- Some people may experience blurred distance vision only at night. In this condition, either the low light results in difficulty when it comes to focusing or the increased size of the pupil during darkness leads to more peripheral, unfocused light rays entering the eye.
- Excessive amount of near-vision work may lead to experiencing false myopia. The blurred distance vision is due the overuse of the eyes’ mechanism responsible for focusing. Longer duration of working at a close distance, the eyes become unaccustomed to refocusing to clearly view the distant object. Resting the eyes usually results in returning of the clear vision. But, a continuous visual stress may result in a permanent reduction in distance vision, over time.
- In people with diabetes, symptoms of myopia could be an early indication for a change in blood sugar levels or a possible sign for cataract development.
Signs of short-sightedness include:
- needing to sit near the front of the class at school because of difficulty in reading the whiteboard
- sitting close to the TV
- complaining of headaches or tired eyes
- regularly rubbing the eyes
Associated eye conditions
Some adults with severe short-sightedness and young children with untreated short-sightedness are more likely to develop other eye problems.
These can include:
- a squint – a common childhood condition where the eyes point in different directions
- a lazy eye – a childhood condition where the vision in one eye doesn’t develop properly
- glaucoma – increased pressure inside the eyes
- cataracts – where cloudy patches develop inside the lens of the eye
- retinal detachment – where the retina pulls away from the blood vessels that supply it with oxygen and nutrients
Diagnosis of Myopia
Testing for myopia may use several procedures to measure how the eyes focus light and to determine the power of any optical lenses needed to correct the reduced vision.
As part of the testing, identification of letters on a distance chart is made. This test measures visual acuity, written as 20/40. The top number denotes a standard distance at which testing is performed (20 feet). The bottom number is the smallest letter size read. A person with 20/40 visual acuity would have to get within 20 feet to identify a letter that could be seen clearly at 40 feet in a normal eye.
Using an instrument called a phoropter, a series of lenses are placed in front of the eyes and their ability to focus light is measured using an instrument called a retinoscope. The power is then refined based on the patient’s responses to determine the lenses that allow the clearest vision.
An eye specialist can conduct the examination without using eye drops to determine the eyes’ response under normal conditions. In cases when patients who can’t respond verbally or when some of the eye’s focusing power may be hidden, eye drops are used to temporarily prevent the change of focus during check-up.
Using the information from these tests, along with the results of other tests, diagnosis of myopia is made. Determination of the power for lens correction for a clear vision is also done.
Myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
Eyeglasses are the simplest and safest way to correct myopia. Prescription lenses can help correct the myopia related vision problem.
Contact Lenses work by becoming the first refractive surface for light rays entering the eye, causing a more precise refraction or focus. In many cases, contact lenses provide clearer vision, a wider field of vision, and greater comfort. They are a effective and safe. However, needs to be used only when advised by an eye care professional.
Refractive Surgery is to permanently change the shape of the cornea in order to improve refractive vision. Surgery can reduce the dependency on contact lenses and eyeglasses. There are many types of refractive surgeries and this has to be discussed with an eye care professional.
Vision therapy is an option for people whose blurred distance vision is caused by a spasm of the muscles that control eye focusing. Eye exercises can improve the eyes’ focusing power and regain clear distance vision.
Myopia treatment in India at Sanjeevan helps in strengthening the ciliary and extra ocular muscles which helps in regulating the converging power of the eye. With our treatment we correct the axial length of the eye ball. Also the flexibility of the lens is vastly improved which also helps in improvement of vision. For curvature refractive myopia our treatment helps in correcting the curvature of the cornea which brings about an improvement in the vision. The conditioning of the ocular media by our treatment also improves vision.