Myopia: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments

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Myopia (nearsightedness) is a common vision problem that is generally detected before the age of 20. Myopia has a negative impact on distance vision, which means nearby items are easy to see, whereas faraway objects are difficult.


What is myopia?

Myopia (short-sightedness) is a common eye ailment that causes distant things to seem blurry. Prescription glasses, contact lenses, or laser surgery can help someone with myopia see clearly. Myopia normally starts in childhood, but it can progress until early adulthood. It is the leading cause of visual impairment in those under the age of 40.

Depending on the cause, myopia is usually classified into two categories:

  • Axial myopia: the eyeball is abnormally long from front to rear.
  • Refractive myopia: the cornea or lens is too curved. It can also happen if the lens is too near to the cornea, however, this is uncommon.

A combination of axial and refractive myopia can occur in certain persons.

What causes myopia?

Hereditary factor

Myopia can run in families. If one of your parents has nearsightedness, you have a higher possitibility to get myopia. If both parents are nearsighted, the chance is significantly higher.

Environmental factor

The environmental factor may also contribute to short-sightedness. Myopia is more likely among children who spend a lot of time focused on close things, such as reading or viewing a computer screen. It can also be exacerbated by a lack of time spent outside in natural light.

Symptoms of myopia

Myopia causes people to have trouble seeing distant things clearly, such as traffic signs. They normally have better eyesight when doing close work like reading and using a computer.

Other myopia symptoms include:

  • Squinting
  • Having to get closer to see things properly
  • Having trouble doing things that need strong distance vision, such as driving or playing sports
  • Headaches
  • Eyes strain


Moreover, additional myopia symptoms to look out for in your children include:

  • Poor academic performance.
  • Reduced attention span
  • Hold objects near the face to see.

Diagnose myopia

Short-sightedness is easy to detect. An optometrist or ophthalmologist will normally have you read a specific chart (Snellen chart) with large characters on top and smaller letters on the bottom. You have 6/6 vision if you can see all of the letters well. 6/12 vision implies you can see letters from a distance of 6 meters that a person with normal vision can read from a distance of 12 meters.

Another way is that a doctor of optometry sets a series of lenses in front of your eyes using a phoropter and studies how they concentrate the light with a portable illuminated tool called a retinoscope. Alternatively, the doctor might utilize an automated tool to assess the eye’s focusing capacity. Based on your replies, the power is fine-tuned to find the glasses that provide the clearest view. To establish how the eyes respond under normal viewing conditions, your doctor can undertake this testing without using eye drops.

However, a doctor may employ eye drops in some instances, such as when a patient is unable to communicate vocally or when the eye’s focusing capacity is obscured. During the testing, the eye drops to prevent the eyes from altering focus. Your doctor can determine if you have myopia by combining the results of these tests with the findings of other eye focusing and eye teaming examinations. He or she will also assess the strength of any necessary lens correction to improve vision. Your doctor can discuss treatment choices when the testing is completed.


Treatments for myopia

Prescription eyeglasses

This is an easy and safe approach to improve nearsightedness eyesight. Single vision, bifocals, trifocals, and progressive multifocal are among the many types of eyeglass lenses available.

Contact lenses

The optometrist places these contact lenses directly on your eyes. Soft and stiff, gas permeable in conjunction with spherical, toric, and multifocal shapes are among the materials and designs offered.

Corneal refractive therapy (CRT)

You use a set of specially designed stiff contact lenses to progressively reshape the curvature of your cornea, the front outer surface of your eye, in this non-surgical process. The lenses flatten the cornea by applying pressure on it. This alters the way light enters the eye and is focused. The contact lenses are worn for a short time, such as overnight, and then removed. Mild myopia patients may be able to temporarily achieve clear vision for most of their everyday activities.

Surgical methods

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses (LASIK)

Your eye surgeon will create a thin, hinged flap in your cornea during this treatment. The inner layers of your cornea are then removed with a laser to flatten its domed form. LASIK procedure typically has a faster recovery time and produces less discomfort than other corneal operations.

Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)

Only in the cornea’s outer protective coating can the surgeon form an ultra-thin flap (epithelium). The doctor will reshape the cornea’s outer layers with a laser, flattening the curvature, and restoring the epithelium.

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)

This technique is similar to LASEK, only the surgeon removes the epithelium entirely before reshaping the cornea with a laser. The epithelium is not replaced; instead, it will regrow spontaneously, according to the altered shape of your cornea.

Vision therapy

People with impaired distant vision due to a spasm of the muscles that govern eye focusing may benefit from vision treatment. Various eye workouts will help you restore good distant vision and increase your concentration abilities.

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