Nearsightedness (Myopia)

Myopia is an eye condition in which distant objects are out of focus and close objects are seen clearly. Myopia is called nearsightedness and affects about 25% of the population. Nearsightedness usually occurs when the cornea has too much curvature or when the physical length of the eye is greater than the optical length and the light that enters the eye doesn’t focus correctly. This eye disorder is easily corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or laser surgery.

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Causes of Nearsightedness (Myopia)

Nearsightedness is very common and can be hereditary. It affects both males and females equally. It can also be worsened by visual stress. Usually nearsightedness occurs in school children and progresses until about age 20.

Diagnosis of Nearsightedness (Myopia)

An early symptom of nearsightedness is difficulty seeing the TV screen or the chalkboard in school. During your annual exam, Dr. Tracy will include testing for nearsightedness. As a part of the test, you may have to identify letters on a vision test, which measures visual acuity. Using an instrument called a phoropter, an eye doctor places a series of lenses in front of your eyes and measures your refractive error.  The doctor may also use an automated instrument that automatically evaluates the focusing power of the eye. The power is then refined by the patient’s responses to determine the lenses that allow the clearest vision. Once testing is complete, Dr. Tracy will discuss options for treatment with you.

Treatment of Nearsightedness (Myopia)

Usually if you are nearsighted, you will be prescribed glasses or contacts that will help correct this condition by slightly bending visual images, bringing them into focus.

Laser surgery procedures are also a possible treatment for nearsightedness in adults. They involve reshaping the cornea by removing a small amount of corneal tissue. This is accomplished by using a highly focused laser beam on the surface of the eye.  The most common procedures are LASIK and PRK.  LASIK and PRK are outpatient refractive procedures used to treat myopia. They are quick, blade-less corrective procedures. During a refractive surgery procedure, Dr. Tracy reshapes the corneal tissue with the VISX excimer laser.  You can resume your daily activities about three to seven days after the surgery.

Nearsightedness (Myopia) FAQs

What is nearsightedness or myopia?

People with myopia can usually read without glasses, but they cannot see far away without glasses or contact lenses. Myopia is a hereditary condition in which the eye is either longer than it should be, or the cornea has too much curvature.

Myopia is a very common condition.

Can nearsightedness or myopia be prevented?

There is no way to prevent Myopia.  When you’re young, spending time outdoors may help your condition from getting worse.  Avoiding eye strain, reading and studying in a well-lit room, and taking breaks when working in front of a computer screen or doing nearsighted work may help.

How do you treat myopia?

Treatment for nearsightedness is usually glasses or contacts. Sometimes nearsighted patients must wear their glasses at all times, while others just need to wear them at night or while driving. After having the same prescription for over a year, someone who is nearsighted may become a candidate for LASIK or PRK, which could eliminate the need for glasses or contacts.

How will myopia or nearsightedness affect my daily life?

Someone who has nearsightedness would have to wear glasses or contacts to see clearly at distance and would have trouble seeing a movie or driving without them.

What are some early signs of myopia?

As early as grade school, nearsightedness starts to show signs. Complaining of not being able to see the chalkboard, or sitting directly in front of the television could be signs of myopia early on.

How common is myopia?

Myopia or nearsightedness is very common in both children and adults and can be treated with glasses, contacts, or laser eye surgery.

To schedule your LASIK consultation, please call us at (760) 603-9910.

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Next, learn about Presbyopia.

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