Thursday, May 6, 2010

What is myopia?

Myopia or nearsightedness is a condition where light comes into focus before it hits the back of the eye. This causes images to be blurry.
In order for you to see a clear image, light must come into focus and land on the retina while in focus. The cornea and lens refract or bends light


Myopia affects about to about 1/3 of people in the USA. In fact a recent study found that the percentage of nearsighted people has increased over the last 30 years. Nearsightedness affects men and women equally.

Signs and Symptoms

Myopia primarily affects distance vision. This can cause headaches and eye strain. Nearsighted people will often squint to see objects and signs. 


Nearsightedness has a genetic component and can run in families. Typically, myopia arises from the length of the eyeball outstretching the focusing elements in the eye. The change in myopia, or myopic creep, will slow and stop at maturity when a person is fully grown.


The most common forms of treatment for myopia is glasses or contacts. 
Other treatments include LASIK surgery, intacts or orthokeratology. These forms can offer a higher degree of freedom than glasses or contacts. There are some caveats in that these procedures cannot be done on everyone who is myopic. If you are interested in one of these, consult with us and we can tell you if you a good candidate or not.


A comprehensive eye exam including a refraction can help diagnose nearsightedness. Frequently, an optometrist will perform an objective measure of refraction using retinoscopy or an auto-refraction instrument. The actual prescription is then refined through subjective refraction.
A nearsighted prescription will appear on the prescription pad with a minus sign in front of the numbers. A larger number indicates a higher level of nearsightedness.


Early diagnosis and treatment is essential. Children suffering from nearsightedness can have problems participating in sports or reading the board in school. Further, measures to slow the progression of nearsightedness using orthokeratology are better utilized in the early stages.

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