Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common eye disorder in which the eyes have difficulty seeing objects far away. Normally when your eye looks at an image, the image is focused onto the retina. With myopia, the image falls short of the retina and causes objects far away to appear blurry.

What’s that over there?

The main symptom of myopia is blurriness when looking at objects far away such as a road sign or chalkboard. Habitually squinting and straining the eyes in order to see can often lead to headaches. Other symptoms include frequently rubbing the eyes and blinking excessively. Myopia appears to be an inherited condition for many people. Since it is a condition that naturally occurs, there is really no way to prevent it. Myopia often begins at an early age and progressively worsens before stabilizing in adulthood. A standard vision test is done to confirm myopia and after this, an eye care professional will use a number of tests to determine the best way to correct it.

Myopia can be an inconvenience but in most cases, doesn’t pose a major risk to the health of the eye. There are a few severe types of myopia which should be closely monitored.

High myopia is usually seen in adults who experienced nearsightedness as children. With high myopia, the eye continues growing and this leads to major difficulties seeing anything from a distance without corrective glasses or contact lenses. People who have high myopia are at a higher risk for retinal detachment and cataracts and oftentimes are ineligible for vision correction surgery due to the extreme correction needed.

Degenerative myopia is a rare, inherited myopia which begins during childhood. Like high myopia, the eyeball continues growing but the growth is rapid and can occur during teenage years or young adulthood. People with degenerative myopia have an increased risk of degenerative changes in the back of the eye including glaucoma and retinal detachment.

Correcting your vision

Eye glasses and contact lenses are the most common treatment for people with myopia and work by refocusing light rays directly onto the retina. Refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK, are also a treatment option however these cannot be done until the eyes have stopped growing. Consultation with your doctor will determine the best treatment option for you.