Myopia (short vision): causes, symptoms and treatment (2023)


What is myopia?

People who have nearsightedness (also known as nearsightedness) have difficulty seeing distant objects, but can see close objects clearly. For example, a nearsighted person may not be able to distinguish road signs until they are only a few feet away.

Myopia affects a significant percentage of the population. It is an eye focusing disorder that is easily corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.

How common is myopia?

Myopia is very common. According to the American Optometric Association, more than 40% of Americans are nearsighted, a number that is growing rapidly, especially among school-age children. Eye experts expect this trend to continue for decades to come.

Today, every fourth parent has a child with some degree of myopia. Some ophthalmologists believe that if your child spends a lot of time in "close" activities, such as reading or using smartphones and computers, it may increase their risk of developing nearsightedness.

Can myopia lead to blindness?

Myopia is usually a minor disorder that can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. But in rare cases, a progressive type called degenerative myopia develops, which can be very serious and is the leading cause of legal blindness. Degenerative myopia only affects about 2% of the population. It is believed to be inherited and is more common in Jews, Japanese, Chinese and Middle Eastern people.

symptoms and causes

What causes myopia?

If you have nearsightedness, it's very likely that at least one or both of your parents have it. Ophthalmologists are still not sure of the exact cause of myopia, but believe it to be a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. It is possible that you inherit the ability to be myopic and then develop it if your lifestyle creates the right conditions. For example, if you use your eyes for a lot of close-up work, such as reading or working on a computer, you may develop nearsightedness.

Myopia usually occurs in childhood. Usually, the condition stabilizes, but it can get worse with age. Because the light entering your eyes isn't focused well, images appear blurry. Think of it a bit like a misplaced spotlight. If you point the spotlight at the wrong place from a distance, you won't be able to see the real object clearly.

What is refractive error?

When the shape of your eye doesn't allow light to focus properly on the retina, experts call it a refractive error. Yourcorneaand the lenses together bend the light onto yourRetina, the light-sensitive part of the eye, so you can see clearly. If the eyeball, cornea or lens are not the correct shape, light will deviate from the retina or not focus directly on the retina as it otherwise would.

If you are nearsighted, your eyeball is too long from front to back, or your cornea is too curved, or you have problems with the shape of your lens. Light entering the eye is focused in front of the retina instead of on it, making distant objects appear blurry.

Kada anOphthalmologistdevelops your eyeglass prescription for myopia, will be a negative number depending on your degree of myopia, such as -2.00. The higher the number, the stronger your lenses will be.

What are the symptoms of myopia?

If you are nearsighted, you may notice:

  • Distant objects appear blurry or indistinct.
  • Closed items look clear.
  • Headaches.
  • Eye strain.
  • Squinting.
  • Fatigue when driving, playing sports or looking more than a few meters away.

Some additional myopia symptoms to look out for in your children include:

  • Bad school grades.
  • Short attention span.
  • Holding objects close to the face.

Most cases of myopia are mild and easily controlled with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. However, in rare cases, more serious disorders occur.

High myopia:A rare hereditary type of high-grade myopia is called high myopia. This happens when your child's eyeballs grow longer than they should or the cornea is too steep. High myopia is generally defined as myopia with a refractive error greater than -6. It can progressively worsen to higher degrees of myopia. High myopia usually stops getting worse between the ages of 20 and 30. It can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses and, in some cases, with refractive surgery, depending on the severity. High myopia can increase your child's risk of developing more serious vision problems later in life, such as cataracts, retinal detachment and glaucoma. If left untreated, the complications of high myopia can lead to blindness, so regular eye exams are essential.

Degenerative myopia:A rather rare but serious form that usually begins in early childhood is degenerative myopia. This form is serious because it damages the retina and is the leading cause of legal blindness.

Does myopia get worse with age?

This can. Especially during the preteen and teenage growth spurt, when the body is growing rapidly, nearsightedness can get worse. By age 20, myopia usually disappears. It is also possible for adults to be diagnosed with myopia. When this happens, it's usually due to visual stress or conditions like diabetes or cataracts.

Visual stress can be caused by spending too much time doing close-up activities, such as reading or working on a computer. Vision experts believe that your focusing muscles can get stuck in "locked gears" due to overuse in this way.

If you are an adult and suffer from sudden myopia,floats(something like bubbles floating in your field of vision),writerlights or shadows or a sudden loss of vision in one eye, see an ophthalmologist immediately to rule out a more serious medical condition.

Diagnosis and testing

How is myopia diagnosed?

Your ophthalmologist can diagnose myopia using patternseye exams. Myopia is usually diagnosed in childhood, but it can develop in adults as a result of eye strain or diabetes.

Adults.Your provider will test how well your eyes focus light and measure the strength of the corrective lenses you need. First, your provider will test your eyesight (acuity) by asking you to read letters on an eye chart. Then he'll use a lighted retinoscope to measure how much light your retina reflects. Your provider will also use a phoropter. A phoropter is an instrument that measures the amount of your refractive error by placing a series of lenses in front of your eyes. This is how your provider measures the lens power you need.

children.Your pediatrician will check your child's eyes at every childcare visit. ANDfirst eye examshould be before the 1st year if possible. If your child has no obvious eye problems, schedule another eye exam before kindergarten. Since myopia runs in families, if your child has family members with vision problems, it's even more important to get an eye exam early. If you or your pediatrician notice a vision problem, your child may be referred to an optometrist or pediatrician.Ophthalmologist.

During a pediatric eye exam, your ophthalmologist will do a physical exam of your child's eyes and check for a normal light reflex. For children ages 3-5, your provider will also perform a vision test using eye chart tests, pictures, letters or the 'tumble game', also called a 'random AND visual acuity test'. Because your child's vision continues to change as he grows, make sure he has eye exams from a pediatrician or ophthalmologist before first grade and every two years thereafter. Although most schools perform eye exams, they are usually not thorough enough to diagnose nearsightedness. About three-quarters of myopic children are diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 12.

The American Optometric Association recommends comprehensive eye exams to detect vision problems early, when they can be more easily managed in children and adults.

Management and treatment

How is myopia treated?

Glasses or contact lenses can correct nearsightedness in children and adults. For adults only (with rare exceptions for children), there are several types of refractive surgery that can also correct myopia.

With nearsightedness, your eyeglass or contact lens prescription is a negative number, such as -3.00. The higher the number, the stronger your lenses will be. The prescription helps the eye focus light on the retina, improving your distance vision.

  • Cups.The most popular way for most people to correct myopia is withcups. Depending on the degree of vision correction needed, you'll wear glasses every day—or only when distance vision is needed. You may only need glasses to drive. Some children with nearsightedness only need glasses to play ball, watch a movie, or play board games. Some people may need to wear glasses all the time to see clearly..A single lens will make distance vision clearer. But patients over 40 who are myopic may need bifocals or progressive lenses to see clearly both near and far.
  • Contact lenses.Some people find that their distance vision is sharper and widercontact lenses. A potential downside is that they require more care to keep them clean. Ask your doctor which type might be suitable for your level of myopia and other refractive errors.
  • Ortho-k ili CRT.Some people with mild myopia may be candidates for temporary refractive corneal contact lenses worn in bed to temporarily reshape the cornea long enough for you to see your daily activities.
  • LASIKis a laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis procedure, the most common surgical procedure for the correction of myopia. youLASIKprocedure, your ophthalmologist uses a laser to cut a flap at the top of the cornea, reshape the inner corneal tissue, and then snap the flap back into place.
  • LASEKis a laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy procedure. In the LASEK procedure, your ophthalmologist uses a laser to cut a flap in just the top layer (epithelium) of the cornea, reshapes the outer layers, and then closes the flap.
  • PRKmeans photorefractive keratectomy, which is a type of laser eye surgery used to correct mild to moderate myopia and may also be used to correct farsightedness and/orastigmatism. In the PRK procedure, your ophthalmologist uses a laser to reshape the surface of your cornea, which flattens it and allows light rays to focus on the retina. Unlike LASIK, the ophthalmologist does not cut the flap. PRK is preferred for patients with thinner corneas or with a rough surface because it disrupts less corneal tissue than comparable LASIK surgery.
  • phakic intraocular lensesare an option for patients with high myopia or whose corneas are too thin for PRK or LASIK. Phakic intraocular lenses are placed inside the eye directly in front of the natural lens.
  • intraocular lens implantallows your eye doctor to surgically insert a new lens into your eye, replacing the natural lens. This procedure is done before cataracts develop.
  • therapy environmentis an option if your nearsightedness is caused by muscle spasms. Eye exercises can strengthen the muscles and improve focus.

Care at the Cleveland Clinic

  • Schedule an eye exam
  • Find a doctor and specialist
  • make a meeting

Live with

How to prevent myopia from getting worse?

While there is no cure for nearsightedness, there are daily steps you can take to help your overall eye health. These days, it's especially important to set limits on activities that cause eye strain for your kids (and for you).

Try these tips to save your eyesight:

  • Limit time on digital devices.
  • Take breaks in front of the screen to stretch your eye muscles.
  • Do not read or work in low light.
  • Encourage exit.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors.
  • Wear eye protection for sports/hobbies.
  • stop smoking.
  • Schedule regular eye exams.
  • Ask your doctor about atropine eye drops to slow the progression.
  • Ask your doctor about bifocal contact lenses to slow progression in children.

Remember, don't let your eyes or your child's eyes get caught in "starter gear" by spending too much time on computers or smartphones. To go out. Turn a trip to the park into a regular family outing. Walk the dog. Go out and have fun.

What foods should my family eat to keep their eyes as healthy as possible?

Everyone's eyes depend on nutrients from the food we eat to maintain vital eye tissues and functions. Nutrition is especially important for your child's vision as their eyes grow and develop. In addition to limiting caffeinated beverages, hydrate everyone by drinking plenty of water.

Also try to eat foods rich in:

  • vitamin AYou need enough antioxidant vitamin A in your diet (or through a dietary supplement) to maintain your eye surface and healthy vision. There are rich sources of vitamin A for every diet. Plant-based options include vegetables like sweet potatoes, leafy greens and carrots. Or you can choose animal foods such as cheese, fatty fish or liver.
  • Vitamin CThe best foods to get your daily dose of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and broccoli.
  • Lutein.Eat green leafy vegetables to ensure you get enough lutein, which helps your eyes filter out harmful blue light that can damage your retina.

You can supplement your or your child's diet with multivitamins if you feel you are not getting enough. Keep in mind that vitamins that come in pills are not as well absorbed by the body as those found naturally in fresh foods.

Try these recipes to get the right vitamins into your family menu:

  • Recipe: Roasted Cajun Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet potato and lime salad
  • Green salad with simple vinaigrette

Taking good care of your family's vision means regular eye exams, a good eye care routine, and a healthy diet. Keeping these healthy habits will help you all see a future filled with all the things you love.


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