Myopia, or nearsightedness, is when a person has good close-range vision but poor vision for distance. Myopia is one of the most common eye disorders in the world. About 30 to 40 percent of adults in Europe and North America develop myopia. That percentage is believed to be 80 percent or more in Asia.

People with myopia often can see well enough at close range to read books but can struggle to drive or clearly see objects further than a foot or two away.

What Causes Myopia?

Genetics is one of the most significant myopia causes. But increased indoor near-work, such as office work on computers, can also contribute. Myopia typically occurs when the eye grows too long from front to back, causing light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina—the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. Unclear distance vision results from the eye focusing on the image in front of the retina.

Myopia also can when the eye’s a lens that is too thick or the eye’s outer layer—known as the cornea—becomes too curved for the length of the eyeball.

Can Myopia Be Cured?

Most commonly, optometrists will help patients with myopia by fitting them with eyeglasses or contacts. These corrective vision options help to refocus light onto the retina. Optometrists typically use a device called a phoropter to identify the best lenses to correct a patient’s vision.

Can Myopia Be Corrected with LASIK Surgery?

Myopia can effectively be corrected with modern corrective lenses surgery, such as laser-assisted in-situ keratomileuses (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). This is an excellent option for patients once the condition has stabilized and will typically help correct distance vision glasses-free for life.

Can Myopia Get Worse Without Glasses?

Myopia can typically progress with or without glasses. However, people that do not get myopia diagnosed and provided with nearsightedness correction can experience other health concerns, such as headaches and eyestrain from struggling to see clearly at a distance.

For more help with nearsightedness and myopia control, contact us and schedule your exam today.