Eye Health – Myopia


Myopia, often times called short-sightedness or nearsightedness, is where light is incorrectly focused while entering the eye making objects at a distance seem blurred. This is a type of eye refractive error and causes trouble seeing far away. Objects seen up close are clear while distant objects are blurred.

Short-sightedness is a common condition and can be seen as mild, moderate or even severe. It affects approximately 30 percent of the United States, both men and women equally. It runs in families appearing usually in childhood; therefore, those with a history of it in the family are more likely to develop this condition. There are times this condition levels off or sometimes worsens as a person ages.

Childhood myopia is typically first seen in children who are not able to read the blackboard or a book easily. Some children may squint or frown, get headaches, or hold books and/or objects close their face. Myopia typically begins between the ages of 6 and 12. As a child enters the teen years the eyeball continues to develop and this condition may worsen quickly. The progression of myopia usually ends by the age of 16 in women and the early 20s in men. Most types of myopia tend to stabilize between a mild and moderate level.

Because the eye is continually growing during childhood, it usually progresses until around the age of 20. Myopia also develops in adults from visual stress or other health conditions like diabetes. Many complications may be associated with this myopia and include eyestrain, a reduced quality of life, glaucoma, impaired safety, retinal tear or retinal detachment.

Myopic changes are typically permanent and treatment does not improve it; therefore should be used as prevention of the development and the progression. The early diagnosis is vital because children can suffer both educationally and socially when not seeing clear at a distance.

There are myopia treatment options available to achieve a clearer distance vision, including eyeglasses, contacts, eye therapy and surgery. Most nearsighted people wear contacts or glasses to correct their vision and are the standard short-sightedness treatment options chosen. Myopia control can also be considered using different methods to influence brain and vision growth to achieve clearer eyesight. There is not a cure for myopia but with control its progression can be slowed or prevented. 


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