Overview of Myopia Causes, Treatments and Cures
Overview of Myopia Causes, Treatments and Cures
Every year ophthalmologists diagnose thousands of people with visions problems including myopia. While one of the more common vision problems, for someone new to myopia vision correction may seem an unusual and scary phenomenon. It is important you participate in routine eye exams at minimum once every year or two years so your eye care professional can diagnose and treat problems including myopia early on. The sooner you receive treatment the more likely you will be to enjoy all there is to "see" in life... literally.
Fortunately myopia and related conditions are relatively easily treated using modern technological advances and traditional means (like with eyeglasses or contacts). Today those with vision loss or disturbances associated with focusing problems including myopia may also be candidates for new technological treatments like LASIK, which may reduce the need or completely eliminate the need for vision correction lenses for many patients.
Let's take some time to learn more about myopia and what you can do if diagnosed with this vision problem.
Myopia A Leading Cause of Vision Problems
Myopia or nearsightedness is one of the most common vision problems experienced by people today. People who are nearsighted often have difficulty seeing things at a distance, but their near vision is often very good. Most are able to read or can perform detail work. Driving may be a bit complicated for people with myopia. So can watching television or carrying out daily activities. Most people with nearsightedness will need to wear corrective lenses all the time. This will help improve their vision and reduce side effects associated with myopia, including headaches or eye strain. Let's talk a bit more about the signs and symptoms of myopia.
The most common signs and symptoms of myopia include frequent headaches resulting from eyestrain. Many patients may not necessarily notice anything directly "wrong" with their vision, but may notice it seems more difficult focusing on things. Some patients may notice they squint more often than others, while still others tire more easily when playing certain sports in part because they are exuding more effort when engaging in activities requiring distance vision. Some patients may experience these symptoms as they age, as myopia may develop or get worse with age.
Causes and Treatments of Myopia
Myopia typically occurs when the eye is shaped irregularly. In fact, many vision problems including farsightedness result when the eye is not shape correctly. Amazingly as much as half the population or more suffers from some sort of vision problem at some point during their life. In cases of Myopia, usually the eye is a little longer from front to back, so is shaped more like an oval than a sphere. This irregular shape may result in light rays focusing at a point in front of the retina of the eye, rather than directly on the surface of the entire retina.
Most of the time myopia is a hereditary condition. Most people will develop this condition during childhood, when children have difficulty seeing the blackboard. There is some chance that mild cases may resolve with age though others experience worsening of symptoms with age. It is important if you have children you take the to the eye doctor at least once every two years, even if they receive routine eye exams at school. A missed diagnosis of myopia can lead to much frustration among young children in particular. They may be mislabeled as problem students, not because they aren't good students, but simply because they don't recognize they are having difficulty seeing. Many achieve outstanding results from simple vision correction measures including use of prescription lenses.
Treatment for myopia often entails use of prescription corrective lenses, in the form of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Certain patients are candidates for refractive surgery. Your eye care professional can work with you to determine the severity of your condition and decide whether you are a candidate for surgery. Most patients will find their symptoms dramatically improved simply by wearing a well fitting pair of prescriptive lenses.
If your condition is severe refractive surgery may actually prove advantageous. For some patients surgery, typically in the form of LASIK surgery, may reduce or even eliminate the need to wear corrective lenses. During the LASIK procedure a surgeon uses a laser to remove a small flap of corneal tissue. This helps reshape the cornea allowing light rays to focus better over the surface of the retina instead on a particular point in the retina.
There are other non surgical approaches to myopia including orthokeratology, sometimes referred to as corneal refractive therapy or CRT. Using this procedure your eye care professional will prescribe cornea shaping lenses for use at night. Much like braces slowly help re-align our teeth, these lenses help reshape the eye.
Still another treatment choice involves placement of plastic corneal rings in the eye. These also work by reshaping the cornea. While a surgical intervention, use of corneal rings is often associated with few side effects. If you do experience problems with this form of therapy your doctor can easily remove the rings and recommend another treatment alternative. Many patients will simply leave rings in permanently and restore adequate vision.
Normally myopia is a relatively mild treatment that can easily be addressed using minor corrective techniques. For certain people however myopia is a severe condition that may require more advanced treatment alternatives.
Pathologic myopia is a form of nearsightedness where myopia is considered extremely severe or degenerative. Most patients with this form of myopia will develop severe myopia around early adolescence. This condition results when the cornea is severely misshapen and may result in extreme loss of vision. Typically pathologic myopia is a progressive disease and may be accompanied by abnormally growing blood vessels in the eye.
Roughly 2 percent of people are affected by this condition. In recent years new treatments including use of an injectable substance have been developed to help treat this condition. For many patients treatment with a drug called verteporfin combined with laser application may help stabilize vision and prevent progressive degeneration. Fortunately this condition is very rare.
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