Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a common condition that makes it difficult to see objects far away. If you’ve recently noticed that your vision gets worse the further away things are, you may be dealing with myopia.
If you’re dealing with myopia, it’s unlikely that it’ll change. While the symptoms are treatable through the use of eyeglasses, contact lenses, and corrective surgery, myopia itself doesn’t naturally go away. But if an optometrist notices early on that you show symptoms of nearsightedness, they can recommend myopia control treatments.
However, if myopia is caught early on in children, there are treatments available to slow or even stop the symptoms of myopia. Since childrens’ eyes are constantly growing and adapting, early treatment can reduce the effects of myopia significantly. This makes it more important than ever to schedule a children’s eye exam to make sure your child’s vision is as healthy as possible.
If you struggle with nearsightedness yourself, you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your optometrist so you can make a plan to reduce myopia’s effect on your life.
What is Myopia?
Your eye naturally refracts light through the cornea so it hits the retina. In a healthy eye, the light hits the retina directly at a precise angle so your eye can build a picture of what it’s looking at. Myopia occurs when your eye is refracting light improperly and light refracts to a point in front of the retina, rather than the retina itself, leading to blurry vision when looking at objects at a distance.
This condition is normally caused by the eye being slightly misshapen, so it’s longer than it is wide. Since the shape of your eye is no longer a uniform sphere, it alters how light is refracting, changing where light reaches in your eye.
Myopia is a very common condition that affects over 25% of Americans, and is believed to be an inherited condition — if a parent has it, the child is likely to develop it too. Some symptoms of myopia include:
- Squinting to see objects at a distance
- Suffering from headaches
- Blinking constantly or excessively
- Feeling eye strain
- Rubbing your eyes
- Difficulty reading objects far away
This condition usually develops in early childhood, and usually stops progressing around the age of 20. But if it’s treated correctly, many of the symptoms can be alleviated.
Myopia can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam by your optometrist. By checking the health of your eyes and how they refract light, the optometrist will be able to determine how best to address the condition and help you lessen the symptoms.
How to Deal With Myopia
Myopia itself can’t be cured, though there are several different options available to treat the symptoms. A popular way to deal with myopia is to wear eyeglasses or specialty contact lenses designed to refract light the way your eyes need.
Since nearsightedness occurs when the eyes are refracting light incorrectly, these eyeglasses or contact lenses are designed to change the angle light enters your eye and let you see things clearly at a distance.
If myopia is caught early in a child, there are many treatment options available. Some ways an optometrist may suggest treating nearsightedness include:
- Atropine eye drops
- Specialty contact lenses
- Prescription eyeglasses
- Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) — a special contact lens worn overnight that temporarily reshapes the eye to help with refractive errors
- Multifocal lenses
How to Catch Myopia Early
The best way to catch myopia early on is to have regular comprehensive eye exams. By having your vision tested often, you can be aware of any changing developments, and catch any potential developing conditions as early as possible. Since myopia can’t be reversed but can be treated, it’s best to be sure that your eyes are as healthy as they can be.
This is especially true for children. Since their eyes are constantly adjusting, growing, and changing, it’s important for your child to visit an optometrist often for a children’s eye exam. An optometrist will be able to make sure your child’s vision is as healthy as it can be and allow you to make sure they can continue to play, grow, and learn as their eyes develop to their full potential. To speak with a caring professional about myopia and treatment options, book an appointment here at Signature Eye Care today!