What is Myopia?
Myopia is a focusing error in the eye. Objects at distance will appear blurred and near objects will be in focus. People who are myopic will tend to squint their eyes to try to see clearer at distance when they are not wearing any corrective lenses. The term myopia comes from the Greek word myopos. In Greek, the word myein means to close and the word opos means the eye.
What Causes Myopia?
In myopia generally speaking, the eyeball is larger or longer than normal and/or the cornea is too steep. This causes the light to focus in front of the retina and thus blurring the vision at distance. It is not until objects are viewed at near that the image is focused on the retina. Myopia usually develops in children and progressively progresses as the child grows and the eye becomes larger or longer. This may require frequent glass or contact lens prescription changes until they reach their twenties. Myopia tends to run in families as there is a genetic component to developing myopia.
Classification of Myopia
This is a refractive error of -3.00 diopters or less.
This is a refractive error of between -3.00 and -6.00 diopters.
This is a refractive error of -6.00 diopters or more. People with high myopia are at risk of other eye diseases such as retinal detachments, myopic degeneration of the retina, open angle glaucoma, and others diseases.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Myopia
The diagnosis is made by having an eye exam. If a child appears to be squinting to see at distance then the child needs to see an eye doctor. If the child is having trouble seeing the blackboard, is sitting too close to the TV or holding books very close then it is wise to take the child to see an eye doctor. Children are usually have their vision tested at school now as well as their pediatrician will check their vision.
Treatment of myopia includes wearing glasses or contact lenses. Once a person reaches the age of 21 and is no longer progressing then LASIK can be performed to correct the vision.