Myopia, or near-sightedness, is a type of refractive error or an eye focusing disorder, where objects up close look clear but distant objects look blurred. It is one of the most common vision problems in the world, with 6.3 million people in Australia with myopia (data reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2017-18).
Near-sightedness generally occurs when the eyeball is longer than average, or the front surface of the eye (the cornea) or the lens, is too curved. As a result, the light that enters the eye does not focus directly on the retina, which causes distant objects to look blurry.
We have recently introduced MiYosmart lenses suitable for children, with more details below on how these may be of benefit.
Let’s take a look at its symptoms, causes, and correction measures.
Symptoms of Myopia
The most common symptom of myopia is blurry vision when looking at distant objects or reading something that’s situated far away. Some other symptoms might include eye strain, and having to squint your eyes to see better. Feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports can also be the result of near-sightedness.
Some of the most common symptoms of Myopia are a blurry vision when looking at the distant objects or reading something that’s situated far away, experiencing headaches and eye strain, and having to squint your eyes to see better. Feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports can also be the result of near sightedness.
Different Types of Myopia
Although myopia is a condition where distant objects appear blurry, the degree of blur can vary from person to person. Different degrees of myopia can affect the vision differently.
Simple Myopia is the type of Myopia that has the least impact on a person affected from it. It can be fixed once the person wears contact lenses or glasses through which they can see clearly.
Progressive myopia is when a persons myopia continues to get worse over a short period of time. It’s a more severe type of myopia, and usually begins at a young age. If the myopia continues to progress to high levels it can increase the risk of developing conditions such as retinal detachment or glaucoma.
Pathological or degenerative myopia is when very high levels of myopia cause changes in the eye structure which can lead to other eye problems. These can include retinal issues such as retinal detachment, retinal thinning or degeneration. Sometimes these retinal issues can cause irreversible damage to the eye.
Causes and Risk Factors of Myopia
Myopia is caused by a longer than average eyeball length, or when your cornea or lens is too curved. These are the factors that cause light rays to focus in front of the retina, causing blurry vision in the distance.
Certain risk factors can increase your chances of developing myopia. One of these risk factors is genetics, this means that if anyone in your family has myopia, you are more likely to have myopia too.
The risk increases if both your parents have this eye problem. The second risk factor pertains to the environmental factors. Another risk factor for myopia is environmental. Some environmental factors which can affect the risk of having myopia include time spent indoors, and reading or viewing things up close for prolonged periods.
How can Myopia be corrected?
There are several ways to correct myopia and obtain clearer vision. Some of these solutions are as follows:
Wearing prescription glasses is one of the easiest options to correct myopia. Your optometrist can check the power or degree of myopia and prescribe glasses to help you see better.
Contact lenses are also a convenient option to correct myopia especially if you have an active lifestyle or simply prefer not to wear glasses. In some cases of higher degrees of myopia, contact lenses can offer better vision and a wider field of view than prescription glasses. Contact lenses are available in various materials and designs. Your optometrist can help you decide which contact lens option is best for you. Also bear in mind, contact lens prescriptions are not always the same as glasses prescriptions so it’s best to have your eyes tested by your eye care professional.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT):
CRT, also known as orthokeratology (ortho-k) is a non-surgical procedure where special contact lenses are worn to temporarily change the shape of the cornea. This results in a temporary correction of myopia without having to wear glasses. Orthokeratology has also been shown to reduce the progression of myopia, especially in young people.
Myopia can affect anyone and is usually found at an early age. Certain signs and symptoms can help early detection of myopia so that it can be treated earlier.
If you notice your child sitting close to the television or bringing things up close to see, they may have myopia. Children with myopia may also complain of blurry vision especially when looking far away, or rubbing and blinking their eyes frequently.
Across our stores we have introduced MiYosmart lenses, designed to reduce progression of Myopia in children. The advanced lens technology is made specifically for young eyes and may assist with children’s vision.
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it is best to have your eyes checked by your optometrist.