Nearsightedness, or myopia, is one of the most common vision refraction errors people experience. In most cases, it begins in childhood and progresses. Myopia is a refractive error of the eye, meaning that the shape of the eye or its cornea improperly bends light as it enters the eye. This inhibits your ability to focus: it’s caused by a variety of factors including eye strain, overuse, and genetic disposition.
It may not always be apparent that you’re having trouble with your vision, but myopia includes a way variety of symptoms, such as:
- Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
- Squinting in order to see clearly
- Headaches caused by eyestrain
- Difficulty seeing distant objects such as road signs, a TV screen, or chalkboard
- Fatigue during athletic activities or while driving
- Sitting closer to the TV, movie screen or sitting in the front of the classroom
- Spatially unaware of distant objects
- Blinking excessively
- Rubbing eyes frequently
If myopia is left untreated the following risks increase:
1. Impaired Safety
An uncorrected vision problem jeopardizes the safety of yourself and others. This is especially serious if you are driving a car or frequently operate heavy machinery.
2. Eye Strain
Uncorrected nearsightedness can cause you to strain or squint your eyes in order to maintain focus. This stress on your eyes leads to eye fatigue, headaches, and migraines.
3. More Eye Problems
Severe nearsightedness puts you at an increased risk for developing permanent vision conditions and issues such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, and myopic maculopathy — damage in the central retinal area. All of these conditions can permanently reduce your ability to see.
After a comprehensive eye exam, an optometrist provides a myopia diagnosis based on the severity of the patient’s myopia: mild, moderate, and high. Treatments for patients with myopia include contact lenses, glasses, and refractive surgery. Glasses and contact lenses correct the refractive error in eyes by bending light before it enters the eye, allowing it to focus on the retina. Refractive surgery physically reshapes the eye to correct the refractive error, eliminating or reducing the need for corrective lenses. This option is available only to adults that are typically older than twenty-one years old and is only an option once myopia has stopped progressing.
In addition to these treatments, there are vision therapies which hinder or slow the progression of nearsightedness in childhood. These treatments include multifocal corrective lenses, atropine eye drops, and orthokeratology, or overnight lenses. Commonly referred to as “corneal reshaping therapy,” this option gives a patient the opportunity to be free from traditional glasses and soft contact lens correction during the day while slowing myopia progression. Consult your optometrist to determine their recommendation for your child.
Our staff at Complete Eye Care of Medina wants you to know that myopia control options are available to prevent your vision from deteriorating. Call us at 763-478-3505 or visit us online at completeeyecareofmedina.com to schedule your exam and start treating your myopia.