What is myopia?
Myopia (or “nearsightedness”) is the inability to see objects clearly at a distance and is the most common refractive error among children and young adults. The condition is a vision disorder, not a disease, however patients who have myopia are at an increased risk of developing certain eye diseases later in life.
“Normal” vision, or seeing clearly without corrective lenses, requires light to focus directly on the retinal tissue in the back of your eye. Myopia occurs as the eye develops and grows longer than it should, which causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. It is most commonly treated with prescription glasses or contact lenses that focus the light correctly on the retina, as shown in the image below. There are also preventative treatments available to help slow the progression of myopia over time, which is the primary goal at our Myopia Management Center.
What are the symptoms of myopia?
The primary symptom of myopia is having a difficult time seeing objects clearly at a distance while closer objects remain clear. However, because this condition most commonly occurs in childhood, it can be difficult for a child to recognize what “blur” actually means, as they may believe everyone sees as they do. Some symptoms to watch out for include:
- Squinting when trying to see far away
- Sitting too close to the TV
- Having a hard time seeing the board at school
- Holding devices too closely
- Leaning forward or placing their head on their desk while doing schoolwork
- Complaining of headaches or eye strain (some children may not be able to verbalize this feeling but it may be noticed as rubbing their eyes, short attention span, or excessive blinking.)
- Avoiding or uninterested in activities that require good distance vision
- Difficulty performing in school or sports
Nearsightedness can be treated with corrective lenses such as glasses or contact lenses. If you are experiencing trouble seeing objects that are far away or close up, contact us today to schedule an eye exam. Don’t struggle with poor vision.