Myopia is a common vision problem found in many people, and affects about a third of the population. It is also known as near-sightedness or short sight. A person who suffers from myopia cannot see objects that are far away. There are varying degrees of myopia, as some people will be able to see well across a room, while others will not even be able to see across the same room at all. A near-sighted person will usually be able to see things close up with no problem, however.
The cause of myopia is when the eyeball is a little bit longer than normal from the front of it to the back; this is a.k.a. having too much plus prescription in the eyeball. This defect causes any light rays that come into the eye to become focused on a spot that is in the front of the retina, instead of focusing directly on the surface. The cause of myopia is inherited, and cannot be prevented. However, it is an all-too-common affliction that can be treated in a variety of ways, typically by the use of prescription eyeglasses or contacts.
Signs of myopia can occur in children that are very young. There are symptoms of this condition to be watched for that can indicate that there may be a problem with the eyesight. A person who has myopia will squint and strain to see far away objects. This can cause headaches, migraines, eyestrain, dry eyes, excessive blinking, and tension. Tasks such as sports and driving a motor vehicle may be difficult and dangerous, since the vision may be very poor. A person with myopia will see far away objects very blurry.
If a child is suspected of having vision problems, he or she should be checked by an optometrist right away. Even very young toddlers can be prescribed eyeglasses for the condition. Myopia is an easily treated condition that will involve the patient wearing eyeglasses, contacts, or both. Some people will need them at all times to perform normal everyday tasks. Others may be able to get away with wearing their prescription eyeglasses sporadically during the day.
Some patients who suffer from myopia choose to fix the problem for good. This can be accomplished by receiving a type of laser vision surgery. A common type of surgery is known as LASIK. This involves cutting a tiny flap in the cornea of the affected eye or eyes, performing laser surgery to correct the problem, and then putting the flap back where it was. LASIK surgery and others like it are very common in today’s medical world, and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. They also involve very little healing time and a small risk of complications, which can include dry eyes, under or over-correctiveness, and infection. However, the success rate is extremely high and a person can get their vision back to nearly perfect without the use of (prescription eyeglasses) or contacts.
Myopia may become stabilized at a certain point, but it can also get worse as a person ages. Regular annual check-ups are essential to make sure that those with myopia are receiving the best treatment for their condition. An individual who suspects that they or a loved one is suffering from myopia or any other eye problems should make an appointment to be checked right away.