If you have searched for and reached this article, you most probably suffer from nearsightedness or Myopia. Nearsightedness is one of the most common causes of impaired vision in people under 40. In this article let’s look at this eye condition and everything you need to know about it.
What is Nearsightedness (Myopia)?
To the ones who are not aware of what nearsightedness is, it is an eye condition where you will be able to clearly see objects that are nearer to you and find it hard to decipher things that are far away.
The faraway object might seem blurry or fuzzy to your eyes. This condition is also called myopia or nearsightedness.
Causes and risks
When the cornea and lens of your eyes are not in perfect curvature or evenly curved, the light that falls on them does not refract, which provides you a blurry vision of distant objects.
The most common cause for nearsightedness is one or both your eyeballs are larger than normal or when the cornea is curved steeply.
Nearsightedness is often diagnosed between the ages of 8 and 12. It is the age when the size of the eye changes. Adults who are diagnosed with nearsightedness during childhood will most probably remain the same.
However, nearsightedness can also develop in adults at a later point in life due to various factors like lifestyle, genetics, and environmental factors.
This means if you are eyes are subjected to constant strain through reading or working on a computer, or if your parents have this condition, or due to other reasons like not spending much time in the outdoors, you may develop myopia. Yes, you read it right.
Signs or symptoms
The most obvious sign that you or your kid might be suffering from nearsightedness is blurry vision.
If you find your child complaining about not being able to read what is on the blackboard or if you find it hard to read faraway street signs, it might be due to nearsightedness.
This sign is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, squinting, excessive blinking, and tired and heavy eyes.
These symptoms subside as you take corrective measures, which we will talk about next.
One of the main complications of nearsightedness is that it significantly hampers your quality of life. Below are some of the other complications of developing nearsightedness.
- Unnecessary eyestrain due to uncorrected nearsightedness will force you to struggle with your vision by squirting or putting an effort to focus on faraway objects.
- The safety of yours and the people around you will be compromised, especially if you are required to drive or handle heavy equipment.
- The money you are required to spend on corrective glasses or lenses is a financial burden and is also believed to impact your income potential.
- Nearsightedness may also develop into other serious eye conditions like retinal detachment or glaucoma.
It is important that you see your Eye Doctor as soon as you notice the above signs.
Your doctor will perform a complete eye exam and suggest corrective measures accordingly.
Treatment or correction for nearsightedness includes:
- Corrective glasses or contact lens
- Corneal refractive therapy
- Refractive surgery
Corrective lenses is the most common way to treat nearsightedness, However, it does not change the shape of your eye or cornea, but is merely a corrective measure to set your vision right. This means you will have to use glasses or contact lenses throughout your life.
Corneal refractive therapy also employs similar solutions, however, in this treatment, you are required to wear certain lenses while sleeping which will enable you to see clearly throughout the next day.
Refractive surgery on the other hand is a permanent solution that uses a laser to change the shape of your cornea and provide you a perfect vision permanently.
Nearsightedness cannot be prevented, however, you can significantly cut down the risk of developing it or slower its development by following the below points.
- Get regular eye check-ups.
- Protect your eyes from direct sunlight by using sunglasses with UV radiation protection.
- Take regular breaks while using digital devices.
- Stop smoking.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right, exercising, and getting good sleep.
- Take measures to reduce or avoid health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Spend time outdoors, preferably within nature, and allowing your eyes to focus on faraway objects.
The best way to ensure that nearsightedness does not compromise the quality of your life or pose an issue is by having your eyes regularly checked from an early age.