Myopia, also referred to as nearsightedness, is a common vision problem, which affects roughly 30 percent of the U.S. population. Myopia occurs when either the eyeball axis is too long or the clear front cover of the eye (cornea) is too curved, causing light rays to bend incorrectly. As a result, distant objects appear blurry.
Eye strain and fatigue when trying to look at distant objects, squinting, and headaches are the common symptoms of myopia. For people with night myopia (also known as twilight or nocturnal myopia), they may only experience decreased visual acuity when their environment has low light levels.
Read on to learn more about myopia, specifically its risk factors and the available treatment options for it.
Risk Factors for Myopia
Why myopia occurs in some people and not in others is not well understood, but experts have identified certain factors that may contribute to its development. These factors are outlined below:
Several studies have established myopia to be a hereditary condition, which means you may be susceptible to it if one or both of your parents are nearsighted.
- Too Much Time Indoors
Experts have identified a link between myopia and not spending enough time outdoors – particularly during childhood. Although there is no clear explanation as to why this is, experts suggest this could be ascribed to the lower light levels indoors.
- Excessive Near-Vision Work
Some studies indicate that individuals who spend a lot of time focusing on nearby objects, or those who frequently read, write, or use their smartphone have a greater risk of developing myopia.
Seeking Treatment for Myopia
If you suspect that you have myopia based on the symptoms mentioned above, see an eye doctor, who can carry out a comprehensive eye exam—which likely includes a refraction assessment— to confirm whether you have a refractive error.
Based on their findings, your eye doctor will then discuss with you which treatment options are available and appropriate for your condition. The following are the available treatment options for myopia:
- Prescription eyeglasses
- Prescription contact lenses
- Refractive surgery (e.g., LASIK, PRK surgery, and lens exchange surgery) – This is a quick, safe, and well-tolerated procedure done to correct refractive errors, namely myopia, hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.
Managing myopia also includes routine monitoring for potential complications, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal tears and detachment.
Treatment for Myopia in Miami-Dade County, Florida
At the Laser Center of Coral Gables, our eye doctors offer innovative and highly effective solutions for the full range of eye conditions—including myopia.
If we determine that you have myopia but you prefer not to rely on glasses or contacts, we will perform a thorough evaluation to determine your eligibility for refractive surgery and recommend which option is most suitable for you.