Nearsightedness, or otherwise known by its medical term, myopia, is a very common vision condition that many people under the age of 40 suffer from. The center for LASIK in Los Angeles has reported that patients that have myopia don’t usually struggle when it comes to seeing objects near them, however, objects that are farther away typically appear blurry. Recently, there has been a noted increase in people diagnosed with myopia.
What Is Myopia?
Research across the world has concluded that by the year 2050 about 25 percent of the world’s population will be nearsighted. If you suffer from nearsightedness, you will probably find it challenging to read road signs and make out distant objects clearly, but you can typically see pretty well when you look at objects close up and do tasks such as reading and computer use.
Here are a few common symptoms of myopia:
- Problems seeing when driving, particularly at night (night myopia)
- Squinting or partially closing your eyelids just to see clearly
- Headaches typically because of eyestrain
- Blurry vision when trying to look at distant objects
- Feeling tired when driving or playing sports
If you relate to any of these symptoms, while already wearing contact lenses or glasses, you should schedule an eye exam at Excel Laser Vision Institute, a clinic of LASIK in Los Angeles to check if you need a stronger prescription.
What Causes Myopia?
Myopia is usually diagnosed during childhood, between early school years through teenage years. A child that suffers from nearsightedness may exhibit these symptoms or signs:
- Frequent rubbing of his or her eyes
- Sitting close to the television, movie screen, or front of the classroom
- Always squinting
- Not aware of distant objects
- Excessive blinking
Myopia is simply caused because of the eye’s structure and development. If you have an eyeball that is too long or the cornea (the protective outer layer of the eye) is too curved, the light that enters the eye cannot focus properly. When this is the case, images focus in front of the retina (the light-sensitive part of the eye), rather than directly on to the retina. This often results in blurry vision. Ophthalmologists of LASIK in Los Angeles called this a refractive error.
What is a Refractive Error?
When the cornea or lens is uneven and isn’t smoothly curved, light rays are unable to refract correctly, and that is when a refractive error occurs.
Myopia is not the only eye condition that develops from refractive errors. Other forms of refractive errors can be:
Astigmatism: This happens when the cornea or lens is curved more perpendicularly in one direction than in another. When astigmatism is left uncorrected, the individual typically experiences blurred vision.
Farsightedness (hyperopia): This happens when the eyeball is shorter than average or the cornea is curved too insufficiently. This results in the opposite of nearsightedness. In adults, near and far objects typically appear blurry.
Despite the simplicity of refractive errors, there are more serious and rare forms of myopia that can be diagnosed, such as:
High myopia: This is a severe form of myopia in which the eyeball grows more than it should and becomes very long from the front to the back. Along with the difficulties of seeing objects at a distance, it can bring about an increased chance of having other eye conditions such as cataracts, a detached retina, and glaucoma.
Degenerative myopia: This is also known as pathological or malignant myopia. It is a rare form of myopia that is usually inherited from a person’s parents. The eyeball gets longer faster and causes severe myopia, usually by teenage or early adult years. Additionally, this type of myopia can worsen when into adulthood. Apart from having issues seeing things at a distance, you may have an increased chance of getting a detached retina, glaucoma, and abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye (choroid neovascularization).
Are There Risk Factors for the Development of Myopia?
There are risk factors that can increase your possibility of developing nearsightedness, such as:
Environmental conditions: Research has shown that a lack of time spent outside may increase a person’s chances of developing myopia.
Reading and close-up work: Those who do a lot of reading, writing or computer work are more likely to develop myopia. Spending a lot of time playing video games or watching television and holding reading material too close has been linked with increased chances of developing myopia.
Genetics: Nearsightedness is usually inherited and runs in families. If one of your parents is nearsighted, the risks of you developing the condition is increased. Your risk is even higher when both of your parents are nearsighted.
How is Myopia Diagnosed and Treated?
An eye exam at Excel Laser Vision Institute, a LASIK eye center in Los Angeles can quickly diagnose your myopia. If you are diagnosed with nearsightedness, eyeglasses, contacts, or refractive surgery can usually correct the problem.
When a person has myopia, the prescription for glasses or contact lenses will be a negative number. The more negative the number, the more powerful the lenses will be. For instance, -5.00 is stronger than -1.50.
The prescription helps the eye focus light on the retina, which can clear up a person’s vision. However, eye surgery can improve a person’s myopia to a point where they won’t need to wear glasses or contacts anymore. The most common procedures for myopia are:
Photorefractive Keratectomy: This is also known as PRK, and is a surgery that uses a laser to sculpt the middle layer of the cornea. This flattens the cornea’s curve and allows the light rays to focus closer to or on the retina.
LASIK: Laser eye surgery is the most common surgery for myopia. The eye surgeon uses a laser or another tool to make a thin flap on the top layer of the cornea. Then the surgeon sculpts the cornea with another laser and moves the flap back into place.
If you suspect you have myopia or are interested in LASIK eye surgery to correct any vision impairments, contact Excel Laser Vision Institute at + (818) 907-8606 today. Our trained eye doctors can quickly assess you for myopia and inform you of the best options, including the LASIK procedure.