Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common vision disorder often diagnosed in childhood. The condition affects an individual’s distance vision. Near objects appear clear, while objects at a distance appear blurry.
People with myopia may find it difficult to read road signs. Myopia affects many individuals worldwide and is usually corrected using eyeglasses, contact lenses, or eye surgery. Read on to better understand myopia, its causes, symptoms, and risks.
The American Optometric Association suggests that over 40 percent of Americans have myopia. The number has been rising rapidly, especially among children, and it is expected to continue in the coming years.
Eye experts believe that increased time spent using digital devices or performing near activities has contributed to the rise. Early intervention can help prevent the progression or worsening of myopia.
Optometrists are unclear on what exactly causes myopia but believe it may be due to genetic and environmental factors. It is often inherited, and children with one or both parents with the condition are likely to develop myopia.
Lifestyle habits such as performing a lot of computers or close-up work can lead to the development of myopia. Nearsightedness usually develops in childhood. In some cases, it levels off. For some, it worsens over the years, usually peaking in early adulthood.
The shape of the eye can make it difficult for light to focus directly on the retina. It is known as a refractive error. The cornea and lens work together to direct light onto the retina, allowing you to see clearly. If the cornea, eyeball, or lens is not the right shape, the light will bend incorrectly, not focusing directly on the retina.
For people with myopia, the eyeball may be too long, the cornea too curved, or the lens incorrectly shaped. The issues cause light entering the eye to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. It causes far objects to appear fuzzy.
People with myopia experience symptoms such as:
Distant objects appearing blurry or fuzzy.
Squinting or frequently rubbing the eyes.
Tiredness when looking at objects far away.
Children with myopia often have poor grades in school, a short attention span, and may experience difficulty reading. Holding reading material close to the face can be a sign of myopia.
A few things can increase your myopia risk. They include:
Excessive screen time.
Prolonged close-up activities.
Reduced time spent outdoors.
Myopia can lead to complications ranging from mild to severe. Vision problems can result in poor school performance, impaired safety, and reduced quality of life.
Myopia can usually be easily corrected using eyeglasses, contacts, or surgery. The focus issue can be inconvenient, but it does not usually result in severe vision loss. But in some cases, patients can develop degenerative myopia.
The condition is often genetic and affects about two percent of the population. Degenerative myopia can be severe and lead to legal blindness. It is more common among people of Asian and Middle Eastern origin. Regular eye exams are vital to protect eye health.
For more on understanding myopia, the causes, symptoms, and risks, contact Patel Vision Group at one of our convenient locations in Visalia, Fair Oaks, Fresno, Redding, Roseville, Sacramento, Monterey, and Salinas, California. Call (559) 739-8550, (916) 966-4700, (559) 229-7955, (530) 221-6557, (916) 788-2960, (916) 629-8033, (831) 375-7755, or (831) 443-5250 to schedule an appointment today.