What Is Myopia?

The National Eye Institute defines myopia as an eye condition that makes faraway objects appear blurry while near objects appear clear. Statistics show that cases of myopia continue to increase in the United States and the rest of the world. This eye condition usually appears in early childhood. Untreated myopia leads to the development of more serious eye conditions during adulthood. If you want to understand myopia better, here’s what you should know.

The Types

Studies show that there are three major types of myopia:

  • Pathological myopia. Also known as degenerative myopia, pathological myopia affects the retina. The problems that arise are retinal thinning (lattice degeneration), retinal scarring leading to blind spots (Forster-Fuchs’ spot), and retinal atrophy. Pathological myopia causes vision loss that neither contact lenses nor eyeglasses can correct.

  • Simple myopia. When you have this type of myopia, your eyes are generally healthy. You can correct your nearsightedness immediately by wearing corrective lenses.

  • High myopia. This type of myopia occurs at a young age. It then worsens as you get older. High myopia increases your risk of developing cataracts, retinal detachment, or glaucoma.


The Risk Factors

Genetics can increase your risk of developing nearsightedness. Usually, a child who has one parent with myopia can develop an eye condition. The risk increases if the child has both parents who have it. The child’s lifestyle also plays a role in myopia development. If your child spends more time indoors doing near-vision tasks, your child has a greater chance of having myopia. As an adult, you can still develop myopia if you overuse your ability to focus. You can also become nearsighted if you have issues such as diabetes.

The Symptoms

Eye doctors say that the major symptom of myopia is a blurry vision when focusing on faraway objects. Other symptoms include squinting, tired eyes, and headaches. You should see your optometrist confirm if you have myopia. That way, you can wear prescription contact lenses or eyeglasses to correct your nearsightedness. Your specialist could recommend surgery if your myopia is too severe.

The Diagnosis

Your optometrist can subject you to various tests to confirm your myopia:

  • Eye chart. The eye care provider can place a chart on one side of the exam room. You must try to read the smallest numbers and letters.

  • Phoropter. This tool consists of various lenses that your eye doctor can position in front of your eye. With a phoropter, your eye doctor measures how your eye focuses light. This will help finalize the prescription for your corrective glasses or contacts.


The Treatment

Once your type of myopia is clarified, your specialist will suggest various treatments. Ortho-K lenses, multifocal contacts, atropine eye drops, and surgery can all help manage your nearsightedness.

Myopia is a refractive error that is treatable and manageable. At City Eyes Optometry Center, we always remind our patients to keep their routine eye check appointments. That way, we could detect various eye conditions and treat them early. Please visit our clinic in Sherman Oaks, California, for an in-person consultation. You can also call us at 818-960-1300 if you want to set an appointment or ask questions about our myopia management packages.

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