Nearsightedness, known medically as myopia, is a common eye disorder. As the name suggests, those with nearsightedness are able to clearly see objects that are near but have trouble viewing objects that are far. The condition usually appears in childhood. Let’s take a closer look at myopia, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment .
Nearsightedness or myopia is an eye disorder that affects distance vision. You may have difficulty seeing distant objects, but things that are near are easy to see (hence the name nearsightedness).
Myopia is of different types:
Nearsightedness or myopia is caused by structural differences in the eye that create problems in image focusing by the eye.
Myopia is called a refractive error. This means that your eye is unable to refract (bend) light correctly due to the shape or condition of the cornea (the front surface of the eye) or the shape of the eyeball itself. In nearsightedness, your eye may be too long or oval-shaped or the curve of the cornea may be too steep.
These structural differences mean that the eye is unable to focus light efficiently on the retina (light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). Thus, images in the distance may appear unclear and blurred. Experts believe that myopia is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Children who have a parent with myopia are more likely to develop the condition. The risk increases further if both parents have myopia.
Among environmental factors, children who spend a lot of time doing up-close work such as reading or working with a computer screen may have a higher chance of developing nearsightedness. Further, children who spend very little time outdoors may also be at a higher risk for the condition. Nearsightedness can also occur as a result of other health issues, such as diabetes and cataract.
Some common symptoms of nearsightedness include:
Since myopia usually develops in children and they may not be able to explain the blurry vision, therefore, as a parent, you can watch out for these additional symptoms in children:
An optometrist can usually diagnose nearsightedness with a basic eye exam.
The eye tests involved in the diagnosis of nearsightedness are:
There are three different ways through which nearsightedness can be treated.
Complications of nearsightedness include:
There is no permanent cure for nearsightedness. However, you can take these steps to prevent or slow its progression:
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No, nearsightedness and a lazy eye are not the same. Nearsightedness or myopia is a refractive error of the eye where distant objects appear blurry and nearby objects appear clear. This occurs when the shape of the eyeball or cornea causes light to focus in front of the retina rather than on itself.
On the other hand, a lazy eye or amblyopia is a condition affecting the vision in one eye. It results from abnormal vision development during childhood. Eventually, the eye's ability to work together decreases, and your brain ignores signals from the weaker eye.
Myopia or nearsightedness often develops between the ages of 6 and 12. If your child shows any signs of vision problems, it is important to get them examined for myopia.
No, there is no permanent cure for myopia. While carrots contain eye-healthy nutrients such as vitamin A and beta-carotene, eating them will not reverse or improve the effects of myopia.
Yes, people can have nearsightedness in one eye and farsightedness in the other. This condition can medically be termed anisometropia (the two eyes have a difference in refractive power) and antimetropia (myopia in one eye and hyperopia in the other).
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