Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is an eye condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is a refractive error, meaning that the eye has difficulty focusing on distant objects. Nearsightedness is caused by the eye’s inability to properly focus light onto the retina, which is the back layer of the eye. The result is that distant objects appear blurry while close objects appear clear, which is why you should book your eye exam today with an optometrist if it’s been over a year since your last eye exam. In this article, we will explore the causes and treatments of nearsightedness. Keep reading!
Causes of Nearsightedness
While the exact cause of nearsightedness is unknown, there are several factors believed to contribute to the development of this condition:
- Genetics: Nearsightedness has been linked to genetics and is believed to be an inherited condition. If one or both of your parents are nearsighted, it increases your chances of developing the condition. However, it is not certain that if you have a family history of nearsightedness you will suffer from it as well.
- Prolonged Use of Digital Devices: The use of digital devices, such as smartphones and tablets, has become increasingly common in recent years. This has been linked to an increase in nearsightedness due to the close proximity of the user’s eyes to the screen and the strain that this places on the eyes.
- Environmental Factors: It is thought that environmental factors such as excessive light exposure, poor nutrition, and the lack of outdoor activity may contribute to the development of nearsightedness.
Contact Lenses as a Treatment Option
Contact lenses have emerged as a popular and effective treatment option for nearsightedness. Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a common refractive error of the eye in which distant objects appear blurred while close objects appear clear. It occurs when the eye is too long or the cornea is too curved, resulting in light entering the eye before it can focus on the retina. Contact lenses are thin, curved lenses that are placed directly on the surface of the eye to correct refractive errors, such as nearsightedness. They work by bending light rays in a way that allows them to focus on the retina, thus improving vision.
LASIK as a Treatment Option
LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is one of the most popular treatments for nearsightedness, or myopia. It is a surgical procedure that uses a laser to reshape the cornea, which is the outermost layer of the eye. By reshaping the cornea, LASIK can correct nearsightedness and improve vision. The reshaping is done in two stages: First, the flap is created on the cornea. This is done with either a laser or a blade. Second, the laser is used to reshape the cornea. The procedure is typically done in an outpatient setting and takes less than 30 minutes. After the procedure is completed, the flap is replaced and the eye is patched.
Orthokeratology as a Treatment Option
Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, is a non-surgical vision correction procedure that uses specially designed contact lenses to reshape the cornea and improve vision. Ortho-K is a safe and effective treatment option for people with nearsightedness (myopia). It can also be used to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts, depending on the severity of the nearsightedness. Ortho-K works by gently reshaping the front surface of the cornea, which is the clear outer layer of the eye. This reshaping changes the way light enters the eye and helps reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. Ortho-K lenses are worn for several hours a night and removed in the morning, allowing the eyes to focus clearly throughout the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Overall, nearsightedness is a very common vision issue that can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, laser eye surgery, and other vision correction treatments. It is important to recognize the causes of nearsightedness, such as genetics and environmental factors, to better understand how to prevent or treat it. Understanding nearsightedness and its treatments can help improve a person’s vision and quality of life.