The signs and symptoms of myopia may include headache, eyestrain and fatigue when doing some tasks that require distance vision like driving and playing sports. People with myopia often squint and strain their eyes, which usually cause headaches. For nearsighted and myopic people, far objects appear blurry and indistinct.
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back. Because of this defect, the light rays focus at a point in front of the retina rather than directly on its surface. Myopia is hereditary and usually shows its symptoms in childhood. Although myopia may stabilize at some point, it can also worsen with age, a condition known as myopic creep. Fortunately, myopia or nearsightedness is a mildly debilitating condition that is easily correctable. Nevertheless, there are also cases where myopia is severe and is considered pathologic. Pathologic or degenerative myopia develops in those with extraordinarily elongated eyeballs. This type of myopia typically starts by age twelve and can worsen with age, resulting in progressive or severe loss of vision.
Myopia can be corrected or treated in several ways. Glasses and contact lenses are the most common ways of correcting myopia. Some myopic persons may need to wear glasses and contact lenses all the time. People with myopia have a negative prescription number. The higher the numeral, the stronger the lenses are. Myopia can also be treated through surgery. Refractive surgery can reduce or even eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. The most common refractive surgery is laser-assisted in LASIK. In this procedure, a flap is cut through the top of the cornea. Then a laser removes some corneal tissue and afterwards the flap is put back in place.
Another surgical procedure is PRK. In this procedure, a laser removes a layer of corneal tissue. This flattens the cornea and allows light rays to focus properly on the retina. A surgical method for correcting mild myopia is by implanting plastic corneal rings, which alter the shape of the cornea. They can either be removed or adjusted or can be left in place permanently. There are also non surgical procedures available for persons with myopia. In orthokeratology, the patient wears special contact lenses that slowly reshape the cornea over time. The cornea temporarily retains the new shape allowing the patient to see clearly. Until recently, there have been no medications available to help people with myopia. However, in 2001, a new FDA-approved photosensitive drug called Vysudine was introduced as a treatment for revascularization or the abnormal growth of blood vessels in pathologic myopia.
Myopia is the most common eyesight problem in the world. Almost a third of the population of the United States has myopia. Fortunately, myopia can be corrected and treated. An eye examination is highly recommended for people experiencing signs and symptoms of myopia. Regularly visiting an ophthalmologist is the best way to know if you have myopia. It is also recommended so that you can get your myopia treated and corrected as soon as possible.