Well, who knows the importance of eyes?-Yeah only a blind. We often hear a proverb “out of sight, out of mind”. You soon overlook people or things that are no longer visible or present. No doubt, eyes are the most delicate and vital part of our body. Any problem in vision can make your life a bit pitiable. Nearsightedness is one of the eye disorders. This article will focus on the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of nearsightedness. But, first, let’s have an understanding of what the disorder is?
Nearsightedness also is known as myopia is a common vision condition and a refractive error. You can see things near to you clearly, but things farther away are blurred. It exists when the shape of your eye doesn’t refract light rays properly, thus focuses the image in front of your retina instead of on your retina. It may develop slowly or rapidly. Moreover, it often gets worse during childhood and adolescence. Nearsightedness tends to run in families. There are several types of myopia and the section below will discuss them in detail.
Types of Nearsightedness
Your eyes usually remain healthy in simple myopia. So, wearing glasses or lenses can easily sort out the issue.
This is a bit harsh form of myopia. When a person develops myopia at a young age, then it gets worse with time. High myopia increases the risk of developing retinal detachment, glaucoma, or cataracts.
Pathological myopia (degenerative myopia)
This type of myopia has additional eye issues that affect the retina, like:
- lattice degeneration (which is a form of retinal thinning)
- retinal atrophy ( parts of the retina become dead and do not work)
- Forster-Fuchs’ spot ( scarring on the retina that may cause blind spots)
This disorder initiates a severe vision loss that glasses or lenses can’t correct. As already discussed nearsightedness is the most common eye problem, it affects about 1.5 billion persons (22% of the population). Rates among males and females are similar. Therefore, if you don’t treat it properly, it could be the most common cause of your eye impairment. It may create cataracts, muscular weakness, and vitamin A deficiency. So, taking know-how of causes and symptoms of nearsightedness is quite necessary for you.
Symptoms of Nearsightedness
Blurry vision when looking at distant objects is a key symptom of myopia. Others may include:
- Squinting eyelids just to look clearly.
- Permanent squinting in kids
- Tired eyes
- Difficulty in view while driving at night (night myopia).
- Rubbing of eyes frequently.
- Blink excessively
- Need to sit near the television screen
- A child may need to sit in front of the classroom
If you or your kid starts experiencing these symptoms, you should see to an eye specialist. Your doctor (optometrist) can help resolve whether or not you have myopia.
Causes of Nearsightedness
The size and shape of your eye cause nearsightedness. A change in these factors occurs when light reflects onto the back of your eye. Thus, the reflected light makes distant objects appear blurry. Some other causes of nearsightedness are:
- The lens and cornea start reflecting light rays in front of the retina, instead of on the retina.
- The cornea or lens being too curved for the length of the eyeball may also cause myopia.
- Typically, it begins in childhood. Moreover, if one or both your parents are nearsighted, the chance of having myopia increases.
- Reading and close-up work-reading like doing computer work for a long time may increase the risk of myopia. Also, reading material too close is linked with myopia.
In addition to these causes, some health issues like diabetes or any acute illness may also trigger myopia. After knowing the causes and symptoms of nearsightedness, you should consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnosis of nearsightedness
Diagnosis for nearsightedness is done by a basic eye exam. This may include a refraction assessment test and your eye health exam.
- A refraction assessment test is to detect a vision problem such as myopia or astigmatism. Your doctor may use different instruments and instruct you to look through several lenses to test your vision.
- Your eye doctor may dilate your pupils by putting drops in your eyes for the health exam. It allows your doctor to see the wider inside of your eyes. However, this makes your eyes light sensitive for a few minutes after the exam.
Once your diagnosis for nearsightedness is confirmed, it’s time for treatment.
Treatment of nearsightedness
The goal of treating myopia is to improve vision by focusing light on your retina. Usually, the treatment of nearsightedness is done through corrective lenses or refractive surgery. It also includes regular monitoring for the conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, objectivity, and retinal tears.
1-Prescription lenses: Wearing corrective lenses handle myopia by counteracting the curvature of the cornea or the length of your eye. Prescription lenses may include eyeglasses or contact lenses.
2-Surgeries for treating myopia are:
- Refractive surgery– This surgery makes you free to depend on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Your doctor uses a laser beam to reshape the cornea. So, it results to decrease myopia.
- Laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses (LASIK)–Your eye surgeon makes a thin, twist flap into your cornea. Then, the surgeon uses a laser to eliminate inner layers of your cornea to level its domed shape. LASIK surgery gives rapid recovery than other corneal surgeries.
- Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)– The surgeon builds an ultra-thin flap only in the cornea’s epithelium. Your doctor then uses a laser to restructure the cornea’s outer layers. After that, your surgeon will flatten its curve and replaces the epithelium.
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)– This procedure is alike to LASEK, apart from that the epithelium is removed completely. Later a laser is used to reshape your cornea.
3-Medication: The medication used for myopia is topical atropine. Low-dose topical atropine (0.01%) helps to slow the progression of the disorder. It is commonly used for dilating the pupil of your eye, as part of eye exams. Atropine is also prescribed before and after eye surgery.
When to see a doctor
We all know that eyes are a big blessing of God. So, if your eyesight detracts you from performing daily activities, then see an eye doctor. Your eye doctor will confirm the degree of your nearsightedness and advise you options for correct vision. Moreover, seek emergency medical care if you feel flashes of light or a curtain-like shadow. These are warning signals of retinal detachment which is a medical emergency.
In most cases, myopia does not cause much harm to your eye health. Several treatments are available that allow you to experience no symptoms of the nearsightedness in your daily life. Depending upon the causes and diagnosis of nearsightedness, you will be prescribed for corrective lenses or surgery. The disorder runs in families and may also start in childhood. Multifocal lenses and eye drops such as atropine may help slow the progression. Normally, your eyes stop varying after a teenager, but not always. Furthermore, the high rate of myopia is alarming in recent years. So, if you notice any change in vision just goes for your eye checkup.