Nearsightedness, also known as myopia or shortsightedness is a defect of the eye in which a patient can clearly see the nearby objects but far away objects appear blurred. This condition has been found common amongst young people. It is not a disease but a kind of condition.
Causes of Miopia
Myopia can be attributed to many causes. Visual stress and heredity plays a major role in most cases of nearsightedness. An instance of a single myopic parent can indeed highly increase the chances of the children also suffering from the same condition. Giving visual stress to the eye by constant exposure to television and computer screens, and reading in dim light can also cause shortsightedness. Frequent exposure to sunlight can also put lots of stress on the eyes. The eyeball of a myopic person is larger in size, due to which the images are formed in front of the retina. So, the nearby objects appear clear, but farther vision becomes blurry.
The symptoms of Nearsightedness can include trouble in seeing far off objects which appear blurred, squinting to view objects properly and sitting too close to a screen. Squinting can in fact put extra strain on the eyes and cause headache. Other symptoms include eyestrain, headache and fatigue during playing and driving. Myopia is not a serious condition, but long term ignorance can lead to severe conditions where eyesight can be impaired completely. People with shortsightedness can usually squint to see in a little better way. This is due to the reason of changing the angle of refraction of the eye. And most of the treatments of myopia are based on this concept. Eyeglasses and surgeries aim towards correcting the refraction angle of the eye.
Eyeglasses and contact lenses are the first step towards treatment of nearsightedness. LASIK surgery is one of the most popular forms of surgeries used by doctors to treat shortsightedness. The procedure involves measuring the shape of the cornea and altering it using laser light to fix a particular degree of refraction for the eye. Photorefractive keratectomy, also called PRK is another surgical method used to bring same effects in the cornea. There are other treatments like Corneal Ring Segments and Orthokeratology, used for myopias that are in normal stages. Corneal ring segments consist of small polymers which are implanted to reshape the cornea. In Orthokeratology, RGP contact lenses are used to temporarily change the curvature of the retina.
For high degree shortsightedness, a surgical method called Phakic Intraocular lenses are used to place a corrective lens inside the eye. This procedure takes care not to destroy any eye tissue. New research is being conducted in the development of new treatment options for correction of nearsightedness. Although any proven ways of preventing myopia have not been developed so far, being aware of the symptoms can help patients tremendously in getting it examined from doctors correctly. Nearsightedness is normally more common in children, so parents should always remain alert for the symptoms. When a child finds difficulty in seeing distant objects, parents should refer them to an eye specialist.