Nearsightedness (Myopia) – causes, symptoms and treatment

Nearsightedness - causes, symptoms and treatment

Nearsightedness (Myopia) is a condition in which nearby objects are clearly visible, but distant images are blurred. Depending on the degree of myopia, people can see clearly at different visual distances nearby, but will always have difficulty seeing objects clearly at long distances. Myopia is a condition that in most cases begins in childhood and lasts a lifetime.

Nearsightedness can develop gradually or sometimes quite rapidly, with vision often deteriorating during childhood and adolescence. It tends to be passed on in the family.

With nearsightedness, the eye is too elongated for its own focusing force or the cornea is very prominent. In this condition, the light rays are focused in front of the retina. The nearsightedness can usually be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or laser vision correction (LASIK).

Symptoms of nearsightedness

If you suffer from myopia, symptoms may include:

  • Blurred vision when viewing distant objects
  • Need to squint or partially close the eyelids to see clearly objects in the distance
  • Headache caused by eye fatigue
  • Difficulty seeing while driving, especially at night (nocturnal myopia)

Myopia is often detected first during childhood or between the early school years to adolescence. A child with myopia can:

  • Frequent narrowing the eyes
  • Need to sit closer to the TV, movie screen or near the blackboard in the school room
  • Be confused when recognizing distant objects
  • Blink too often
  • Frequent rubbing the eyes

Nearsightedness can occur and progressively develop in adults. And this is most often the initial manifestation of another eye disease – Cataract.

Types of Myopia

The type of myopia is determined by the size of the diopter – the larger it is, the further ahead of the retina the image is obtained from the focused light rays. Respectively, the more blurred the objects is at a distance.

  • Weak myopia: up to -3.0 diopters
  • Moderate myopia: -3.0 to -6.0 diopters
  • High myopia: from -6.0 to -15.0 and more diopters
  • Progressive excessive myopia: can reach -40.0 diopters

Treatment

The preferred treatment with patients in the age group from 18 to 40 years old is is laser correction. The laser correction is completely safe, bloodless and seamless.

With patients over the age of 40, there is another method for correcting myopia – soft multifocal lenses that are embedded into the eye.

Other eye disorders

Farsightedness (Hyperopia)

This happens when the cornea is too curved or the eye is shorter than normal. In relaxed state, light never focuses on the retina on the inside of the eye, but behind it. The degree of farsightedness and the age of the patient determine the symptoms – headache, blurred vision at close range or blurred vision at both near and far sight.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is refractive error that happens when the cornea is curved more sharply in one direction than the other. Uncorrected astigmatism blurs your vision and makes pictures blurry at all distances.

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