What Causes Near-Sightedness?

December 7, 2015

Category 1

What Is Myopia?

Myopia, also known as “near-sightedness” is condition of the eye that makes it difficult to see objects that are far away. It is the most common refractive error of the eye, with occurrences increasing dramatically in recent decades.

The explosion of myopia is a serious public health concern. Myopia means more than a lifetime of glasses or contacts; myopic individuals are also at an increased risk of retinal detachment, glaucoma, early-onset cataracts, and blindness.

What Causes Myopia?

Researchers are having are hard time finding the cause(s) of myopia. Obviously, hereditary factors play some role. But how we use our eyes seems to be as impor­tant as our genes when it comes to visual acu­ity. For example, researchers have found that if children of myopic parents spend lots of time outdoors, they’re at only slightly greater risk of becoming nearsighted than children whose parents are not myopic. Strong evidence points to an  inverse relationship between time spent outdoors and rates of myopia.

A correlation between rates of myopia and education levels suggests that close focus activities such as reading books and working on computers can be linked to myopia. Over the years close work can cause elongation of the eye so that light rays from a near object will come into focus more readily. Outdoor activity, in con­trast, allows the eye to focus on distances and thus relax.

How Is Myopia Treated?

Myopia is most commonly corrected through the use of corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses. It may also be corrected by refractive surgery, though there are cases of associated side effects.

Family Eye Care of Linden can prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses that correct nearsightedness by bending the visual images that enter the eyes, focusing the images correctly at the back of the eye. Depending on the amount of nearsightedness, you may only need to wear glasses or contact lenses for certain activities, like watching a movie or driving a car. Or, if you are very nearsighted, they may need to be worn all the time. Testing for nearsightedness may use several procedures in order to measure how the eyes focus light and to determine the power of any optical lenses needed to correct the reduced vision.

 

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