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Myopia (Nearsightedness)

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About Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Myopia is more commonly referred to as nearsightedness. People with myopia can generally see close objects fairly clearly but struggle with objects further away. They generally have no problems when reading or working at a computer but will have difficulty seeing things like road signs or other far away objects.

Myopia is a common refractive error of the eye (similar in that respect to hyperopia and astigmatism). Recent studies from the National Eye Institute suggest that up to 42% of the North American population has myopia to some degree.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia is largely the result of your genetics and the physical size and shape of your eye. It is the result of light that focuses in front of your retina as opposed to on it. When the light reaches the retina, it is out of focus and requires correction.

If your eye is longer than the focusing power of your lens/cornea, myopia is the result.

Myopia generally stabilizes when you’re young, but it may continue to progress into adulthood- especially if left unmanaged.

Signs & Symptoms of Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Myopia is marked by difficulty with close vision. Kids may not recognize the signs of myopia due to personal ignorance, making it important that your child has regular eye exams.

Myopia Symptoms

  • Eye fatigue when reading or working at a computer
  • Difficulty focusing on objects up close
  • Frequent squinting
  • Headaches and other forms of fatigue when working at a computer, reading, etc.
  • Challenges seeing items far away, such as road signs

Treating Myopia

Myopia is generally managed via correct lenses (eyeglasses or contact lenses). Laser refractive surgery is another effective way to treat myopia.

Managing Myopia With Corrective Lenses

As myopia is a refractive error of the eye, corrective lenses are effective in correcting this error. During a comprehensive eye exam we will determine the amount of lens power needed to correct your case of myopia. Both eyeglasses and contact lenses have a range of options designed specifically to correct myopia. During your exam we will determine which options are ideally suited for you.

Laser Refractive Surgery for Treating Myopia

Laser refractive surgery is an effective and often permanent correction for myopia. There are several versions of this type of surgery, though the most commonly known is LASIK.

In effect, the laser reshapes the cornea tissue and corrects the refractive error. The procedure itself is relatively painless, with only a few days to a week of generally mild postoperative discomfort.

Learn more about laser refractive surgery.