Nearsightedness is when light entering the eye is focused incorrectly, making distant objects appear blurred. Nearsightedness is a type of refractive error of the eye. If you are nearsighted, you have trouble seeing things that are far away. Nearsightedness, or Myopia, is the most common refractive error of the eye, and it has become more prevalent in recent years. If you are nearsighted, you typically will have difficulty reading road signs and seeing distant objects clearly, but will be able to see well for close-up tasks such as reading and computer use. In myopia, close objects look clear but distant objects appear blurred. It is an eye focusing disorder, not an eye disease. Myopia can also occur in adults.
Low Myopia & High Myopia
If the myopia is mild, it is called Low myopia. Severe myopia is known as high myopia. High myopia will usually stabilize between the ages of 20-30 years old. With High myopia, you can usually correct vision easily with glasses, contact lenses or sometimes with refractive surgery. People with high myopia may also have a higher than average risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts.
Causes & Symptoms
People are able to see because the front part of the eye bends (refracts) light and points it to the back surface of the eye, called the retina. Nearsightedness occurs when the physical length of the eye is greater than the optical length. Nearsightedness affects males and females equally. People who have a family history of nearsightedness are more likely to develop it. Most eyes with nearsightedness are healthy, but a small number of people with severe myopia develop a form of retinal degeneration. People who are nearsighted often complain of headaches, eyestrain, squinting or fatigue when driving, playing sports, or looking more than a few feet away.
How Is Myopia Treated?
Glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery can correct myopia. With myopia, your prescription for glasses or contact lens is a negative number, such as -3.00. The higher the number, the stronger your lenses will be. Refractive surgery can reduce or even eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. The most common procedures for myopia are performed with a laser. The most common surgery to correct myopia is LASIK.
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