All About Myopia: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention

People with myopia (a.k.a. nearsightedness) have trouble seeing distant objects yet can clearly see things up close. A nearsighted individual, for example, may not be able to see highway signs until they are only a few feet away.

Myopia affects a large proportion of the population. It is a vision problem that can be readily rectified with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery.

What factors contribute to myopia?

If you have myopia, chances are one or both of your parents do as well. According to eye specialists, myopia is believed to be caused by a combination of inherited and environmental causes. Therefore, it’s conceivable to inherit the potential to be myopic and then develop it if your lifestyle creates the right conditions. For example, if you do a lot of close-up work with your eyes, such as reading or working on a computer, you may acquire myopia.

Myopia commonly manifests itself in childhood. The condition usually improves with age, although it might deteriorate. Images seem blurry because the light entering your eyes is not correctly focused. 

What are the symptoms of myopia?

You may experience the below signs if you are nearsighted:

  • Faraway objects appear blurry or fuzzy
  • Closed things seem to be clear
  • Headaches
  • Strain on the eyes
  • Squinting
  • Tiredness when driving, participating in sports or gazing further than a few feet away

Additionally, here are a few signs of myopia to look out for in your children:

  • Reduced attention span
  • Bringing items up to one’s face
  • poor grades in school

What is the treatment for myopia?

Myopia can be corrected in both children and adults using glasses or contact lenses. Various refractive operations can treat myopia in adults alone (with rare exceptions for children). Here are some of the more prominent treatments for myopia:

  • Eyeglasses. Eyeglasses are the most common technique for most people to correct their myopia. Depending on the degree of vision correction required, you will wear eyeglasses daily or only when distant vision is required. For instance, driving glasses may be all that you need. 
  • Contact lenses. Some people feel contact lenses improve their distant vision and broaden it. One disadvantage is that they pay more attention to staying clean. Inquire about the best kind for myopia and other refractive issues with your provider.
  • CRT or ortho-k. Those with slight myopia may be candidates for temporary corneal refractive contact lenses, which you wear to bed to temporarily reshape the cornea so you can see for your daily activities.
  • LASIK. Also known as laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses, it is another popular procedure to treat nearsightedness. Your ophthalmologist will use a laser to cut a flap in the top of the cornea, remodel the inner corneal tissue, and then replace the flap.

How can you prevent myopia from worsening?

While there is no cure for myopia, there are simple actions you may take to improve your general eye health.

Try these eye-saving strategies:

  • Limit your time spent on digital gadgets.
  • Take pauses from your computer to stretch your eye muscles.
  • Don’t read or work in low-light situations.
  • Frequently go outside.
  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors.
  • Wear protective eyewear when participating in sports or hobbies.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Schedule routine eye checkups.