Nearsightedness, or myopia, is the most common refractive error of the eye, and it has become more prevalent in recent years.
Signs and Symptoms of Myopia:
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.
Other signs and symptoms of myopia include squinting, eye strain and headaches. Feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports also can be a symptom of uncorrected nearsightedness.
What Causes Myopia:
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long, relative to the focusing power of the cornea and lens of the eye. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface.
Nearsightedness also can be caused by the cornea and/or lens being too curved for the length of the eyeball. In some cases, myopia is due to a combination of these factors.
In most recent years, there has been an increase in children experiencing Myopia (nearsightedness). This can be correlated to the increase of technology usage including cell phones and tablets. When children focus more on cell phones, tablets and even books that are close up, the eyes adapt and grow to focus on up close vision rather than things far away. It is key to limit a child's time with technology and encourage them to play outdoors.
Treatments for Myopia:
Nearsightedness can be corrected with contacts, glasses, or LASIK surgery. Depending on the degree of your myopia, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only when you need very clear distance vision, like when driving, seeing a chalkboard or watching a movie.
Good choices for eyeglass lenses for nearsightedness include high-index lenses (for thinner, lighter glasses) and anti-reflective coating. Also, consider photochromic lenses (Transitions) to protect your eyes from UV and high-energy blue light and to reduce your need for a separate pair of prescription sunglasses outdoors.
If you wear contacts it is a good idea to get a daily lens to make sure you are putting in a fresh lens everyday.
Refractive surgery (LASIK) can reduce or even eliminate your need for glasses or contacts. The most common procedures are PRK and LASIK more information on these procedures can be found here.
With more and more people becoming nearsighted these days, there has been an increased interest in controlling myopia especially during childhood.
There are a few techniques to control myopia. One way to control myopia is with bifocal/progressive lenses. People who have this type of lens at an early age tend to slow down their myopia to the point that they can wear single vision lenses. There are contacts like the ones made by VTI, which can slow myopia because of the technology of the lens. More information can be found on our Myopia Control page.
There are also Gas permeable lenses that you wear during the night that reshape the cornea to reverse the effects of the eyeball becoming long.