Myopia, better known as near-sightedness, is a common vision condition. People living with the condition can see items clearly when they are close, but experience blurred vision when looking at items further away.
Myopia happens when the shape of the eye causes light to bend incorrectly, causing images to focus in front of the retina instead of on it. As a result, the eye does not focus correctly and the image appears blurred.
What are the symptoms?
Near-sightedness is normally detected during the early school. It may progress throughout your teens as the eye continues to grow.
Common signs include:
- Sitting close to the TV
- Holding reading material close to the face
- Inability to read the whiteboard at school
- Excessive blinking
- Excessive eye rubbing
- Tiredness while driving
What causes Myopia?
Myopia is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. An estimated 36% of Australians are affected by it.
Myopia is caused by a refractive error. It occurs when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too curved. Children who do not spend enough time outside may develop myopia if they don’t get enough exposure to the sun or to far horizons. Myopia is common in kids who read a lot, or spend a lot of time using digital devices.
Other eye problems caused by refractive errors include farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
Adults who suffer from diabetes might be more susceptible to developing the condition, as are people with a genetic disposition.
Myopia in children
Myopia in children can be influenced by a range of factors. If your child suffers from myopia, you may be able to prevent it from worsening by:
- Limiting time on digital devices
- Taking plenty of breaks between screen time
- Avoiding reading in poor light
- Spending more time outdoors
- Wearing quality sunglasses outside
- Wear corrective lenses, if they have been prescribed.
Remember to take your children for regular eye exams. Children should ideally have their eyes screened at 6 months, 3 years, just before they go to school, and then every two years.
How do you treat myopia?
Because environmental factors may increase the risk of near-sightedness, a reversal of those factors may help to improve vision. In children, spending time outdoors may decrease the risk of developing myopia.
Myopia is a refractive error of the lens; in layman’s terms, it means your eye is out of focus. Myopia treatment involves using visual aids to correct the eye’s focus. These may include:
- Contact lenses
- Corneal refractive surgery (CRS)
- Laser procedures
- Refractive surgery
- Vision therapy
Surgery At Westside Eye Clinic
Westside Eye Clinic is a specialist Ophthalmology practice located in Jamboree Heights near the Mt Ommaney Shopping Centre, in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane.
Dr Joseph Park is a Specialist Ophthalmologist (an Eye Doctor) who trained in Brisbane and undertook further studies at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Western Eye Hospital in London, United Kingdom.