Myopia: Causes & symptoms, are you at risk?

Myopia also called nearsightedness in layman’s terms. It is a vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly but the objects farther away appear blurred.

Myopia occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea (the clear front cover of the eye) is too curved. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused directly on the retina but in front of it.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

The most common symptom is that faraway objects look blurry and distorted. The symptoms such as the following can also occur.

  • Pain in the eyes when trying to focus on faraway objects.
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Persistently squinting
  • Rubbing of eyes frequently
  • Excessive blinking
  • Difficulty seeing while driving at night
  • Being unaware of distant objects.

TYPES OF MYOPIA

  • Simple Myopia
  • Degenerative/progressive Myopia
  • Psuedomyopia
  • Nocturnal Myopia
  • Near work-induced transient myopia (NITM)
  • Instrument Myopia
  • Induced/Acquired Myopia
  • Index Myopia
  • Form deprivation Myopia

CAUSES & RISK FACTORS OF MYOPIA

  • Refractive error, when cornea or lens isn’t evenly curved at an angle
  • Genetics
  • Doing work that involves focusing on nearer objects
  • Greater time spent indoors
  • Low physical activity
  • Insufficient light exposure
  • High socioeconomic class
  • High blood sugar
  • Oxygen toxicity
  • Nuclear sclerosis
  • Complications due to medications
  • Injury. 

COMPLICATIONS

  • Reduced quality of life: Without prescription glasses or lenses, one may not be able to see faraway objects clearly.
  • Eyestrain and headache.
  • Financial burden: Prescription glasses and lens are very expensive, for instance, you want laser surgery to correct your vision permanently, the surgery is also expensive.
  • Severe myopia leads to other eye problems such as cataract, glaucoma, etc.
  • The risk of safety to oneself, as a person with the condition, without treatment will have difficulty driving at night.

DIAGNOSIS OF MYOPIA

  • The diagnosis of myopia can be done by a basic eye examination, by an optometrist
  • You will be asked to read out letters from a distance chart, therefore to measure visual acuity.
  • A retinoscope is used to determine the refractive index of the lens.
  • Subsequently an instrument called a phoropter is used to determine the corrected eyeglass prescription.

TREATMENT

  • Prescription glasses: The most common and popular treatment option is prescription glasses. Therefore vision is optimized and you will no longer face the symptoms caused by this condition. In other words this treatment option is best for children and the elderly, as contact lenses may dry out and irritate their eyes.
  • Prescription lenses: These lenses work on your eye, there is a wide variety of options for the types of lenses.
  • Refractive surgery: ¬†Includes procedures that alter the corneal curvature of some structure of the eye or which add additional refractive means inside the eye.¬†
  • The types of surgery are as follows:
  1. Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis aka LASIK
  2. Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy aka LASEK
  3. Photorefractive keratectomy aka PRK

MANAGEMENT OF MYOPIA

  • Using atropine as eye drops
  • Increase exposure to daylight
  • Dual focus contact lens
  • Orthokeratology
  • Scleral reinforcement surgery.