About the disease
Myopia is a common condition that is characterized by nearsightedness, due to eyeball abnormalities. According to All About Vision, 41.6% of the US population is myopic. Some people have a genetic predisposition for myopia. If parents have myopia, the chances that their child will also develop this condition are high. The good news is that if a child is born with myopia, very often this condition resolves on its own as the child gets older.
In many cases, myopia develops as a result of continuous eye fatigue, for example from sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time or continuous reading. When an eye focuses on a near object, its structure changes. In the longer term, an eye may anatomically adjust itself to seeing only those objects that are in close range. In mild cases, it may be difficult to distinguish objects from afar; in severe cases, it may only be possible to see objects from a few yards away.
Myopia has become very common in the 21st century, due to the widespread use of various gadgets that require constant close up focus on one object. Moreover, millions of jobs worldwide require a person to work at a computer. This is why it is important to look at a distant object every 20-30 minutes while using a computer. Using eye drops and doing eye exercises can also be helpful.
- Problems distinguishing objects that are far away
- Perfect vision when reading or sitting at the computer
- Eye strain when looking ahead
- Light sensitivity
- During a general examination, the ophthalmologist will examine the patient’s eyes to check the lens and cornea using a special light.
- The doctor will ask the patient to read letters of various sizes on a board from a few feet away.
- A general examination is usually enough to diagnose myopia.
- Imaging tests can be useful to examine the inner structure of the patient’s eyes and it can also rule out other eye conditions.
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of laser surgery that changes the shape of the cornea, thus correcting the nearsightedness.
- LASIK is another type of laser surgery that is effective in changing the structure of the eyeball so that it can make objects out clearly. Some corneal tissue that is causing the myopia, is removed.
- Phakic intraocular lens (IOL) is a surgical procedure whereby a lens is implanted into the eye. This surgery is usually performed if the regular laser surgery did not help. It is also recommended if PRK and LASIK are thought to be dangerous for a particular patient.
- Keratoplasty is a surgical procedure whereby the cornea is removed and a new one is transplanted. This is recommended if the initial cornea is damaged to the extent that it cannot be treated by laser surgery.