Myopia 101: Everything You Need to Know About Nearsightedness
Learn everything you need to know about myopia—what causes nearsightedness, how do you treat it, and some preventive measures to avoid developing one. Read on!
Are you having difficulty seeing objects from afar? This could be a sign of a blur vision problem called myopia. Read until the end of this post to learn how you can alleviate such discomfort in your vision.
What is myopia?
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a type of refractive error in the eyes. It happens when one’s eyeball are too long or the corneas are too curved. Because of this, the light that passes through the eyes will not fall on the retina. People with myopia can typically see well enough to read a book or computer screen but struggle to see objects farther away.
What causes myopia?
Till date, scientists are still unsure of why the eyeball sometimes grows too long. However, they have found some risk factors that is related to myopia progression.
- 1. Genetic factors - it has been found that if both parents are myopic, there is a higher chance of the child have myopia.
- 2. Environmental factors - it has been found that children spending more time in doing near-work and lack of time spent outdoors actually increase the rate of myopia progression
This vision condition usually starts as soon as childhood. As mentioned above, children who have nearsighted parents have higher chances of developing myopia. It is often discovered in children at the age of 8 to 12 and correction is necessary to slow down the rate of progression of myopia.
What are the signs and symptoms of myopia?
Some common symptoms is when a child experiences or complains about headaches, eye strain, and fatigue when trying to focus their eyes on objects that are more than a few feet away. Sometimes, the child may rub their eyes more often or having some behaviours like watching tv at a very close distance.
Another common symptoms is blurry of vision at distance, as shown in the picture below.
How do you manage myopia?
If one is suspected having the above symptoms, he or she should get their eye tested in the optical practice. Do take note that if the child is below the age of 8 years old, you should bring your child to see an optometrist. Eyeglasses are the usual solution prescribed by opticians and optometrists should myopia be detected.
How do you prevent development of myopia?
Since myopia is usually hereditary, it can’t actually be prevented. However, there are some things you can follow to minimise its progress.
- - Get your child’s vision assessed early on, specially if your family has a history of myopia.
- - Spend long hours outside. Some studies suggested that sunlight may provide important cues for eye development
- - Take regular eye breaks using the “20-20-20” rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds
- - Consider myopia control lenses for your child. Studies have shown that myopia control lenses actually helps to slow down myopia of up to 30%*.
- - Consider orthokeratology.
Orthokeratology, or just Ortho-K, is the use of specially designed contact lenses to gently reshape the front surface of the cornea. This can be worn overnight and works instantly in enabling clearer vision the next day.
Good candidates for Ortho-K are children and young adults who don’t want to wear glasses and are too young for normal contact lenses and laser eye surgery. Also, people who are into contact sports or are working within dusty environments may find this beneficial.
It was studied by researchers at the University of Melbourne that those who undergo Ortho-K showed a more significant stable degree of myopia. 64% of Ortho-K eyes showed an apparent total stabilization of nearsightedness. With this, it can be concluded that Ortho-K can reduced the rate of progression of childhood myopia.