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Myopia - Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatments

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Myopia - Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatments

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Myopia is a common eye condition. Read this article to know more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Written by

Dr. Lochana .k

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gopal R. Damani

Published At February 25, 2022
Reviewed AtFebruary 14, 2024

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is a condition affecting the eye. Myopia is also called nearsightedness. In this condition, the person will be able to see the objects that are only very near. Objects that are far away often appear blurred and unclear. The degree to which the objects blur might vary from person to person. This problem will generally affect people who look at the computer for a very long time. It might also affect people who are voracious readers. It is not a serious problem and can be treated easily. It is a common one affecting most of the population. Treatment does not provide a complete cure. It involves treating the condition to a certain extent, with the help of spectacles or minor surgical procedures. Children are more likely to be affected than elders. It affects children who are aged eight to fifteen years.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of myopia are blurring of the vision, straining of the eyes, and others. The various other symptoms are:

  • Squinting of the eyes.
  • Straining of the eyes when you are trying to focus on the objects that are far away.
  • Eye fatigue.
  • Headaches.

What Are the Causes?

  • High Socioeconomic Status- People of high socioeconomic class prefer to stay indoors and long-term practice of this culture makes them more exposed to television and video games.
  • Sulfonamide therapy.
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and uveitis.
  • Genetic Factors. If the parents have myopia, then there are chances that the child might also get myopia.
  • Environmental Factors- Kids who play outdoors tend to have a better vision to a greater wavelength. These kids have low rates of myopia. People who are exercising more are less likely to be affected by myopia because their eyes have a wider field of vision. When an individual is exposed to sunlight or bright outdoor light for a long period, there is a chance for them to have more secretion of dopamine in the retina. This increased level of dopamine can enhance the visibility of the eyes. This is the reason why environmental factors play a vital role in myopic eyes.
  • Lifestyle- Engaging in too much sedentary lifestyle can be damaging to the eyes.

What Are the Types?

  • Simple Myopia: It is a type of myopia with a very minute diopter. This is the most common form of myopia.
  • Degenerative Myopia: The other names of this type of myopia are progressive, malignant, or pathological myopia. This type of myopia gets worse over time. It is the main cause of visual impairment.
  • Pseudomyopia: This occurs due to the spasms of the accommodation system of the eye.
  • Nocturnal Myopia: The accommodation system fails in its potential, and therefore the objects go out of focus.
  • Near Work-Induced Transient Myopia: It is a short-term myopic condition.
  • Instrument Myopia: It is the accommodation of the eye that is overdone while looking into an instrument. The instrument could be a microscope.
  • Induced Myopia: It is also known as acquired myopia. It is due to the manifestation of a wide range of medications. When the medications result in higher glucose levels, oxygen toxicity, and nuclear sclerosis.
  • Temporary Myopia: It occurs due to the elevation of glucose levels. When the glucose level increases in the blood, it can result in swelling.
  • Index Myopia: When the refractive index varies, it can lead to index myopia. Cataracts might also be the reason for index myopia.

Depending on the age it is named:

  • Adult-onset myopia.
  • School myopia.
  • Youth-onset myopia.
  • Congenital myopia.

What Are the Risk Factors?

  • Retinal detachment.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Cataract.
  • Spending too much time indoors.
  • Watching too much television.
  • Sitting in front of computers for a long time.
  • Spending more time on computer games and mobile games.

How Is It Diagnosed?

The condition of myopia requires a proper eye examination to be tested for. The clinical examination of the eye will be carried out by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. They will prescribe the power of the glasses required. In myopia cases, the power will be negative in most of the cases. The higher the power, the worse the condition is.

What Are the Treatment Options?

There are various treatment options depending on the financial status of the individual. There are many home remedies also.

Home Remedies:

  1. The topical application of ingredients would be harmful to the eye as it is a sensitive organ. So, a few exercises could be tried. The results could be beneficial. Imagine a wall clock in front of you. Move your eyes gradually from the noon to the 1 o’clock position. Repeat this in a clockwise direction. Do this exercise three times a day. When you do it for more than a month, the accommodation capacity of the eye will increase.

  2. Eat foods that are rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is a good nourishing source for the eyes. The carrot should be eaten regularly. Carrots should be taken in a raw form rather than juices. This will be an added advantage for the consumer.

Glasses:

Glasses for myopia are available in bifocal and progressive forms. The patient should consult the optometrist to choose different forms. The patient can choose a spectacle based on their preferences too.

Medications:

Medications such as antimuscarinic agents are used in children below 18 years of age. This might be beneficial in the initial stage, but as days go by, it might worsen the condition. Other treatment options are Pirenzepine gel, Atropine eye drops, and Cyclopentolate eye drops. Side effects such as sensitivity to light and blurring of the objects that are near might also happen.

Surgery:

Surgical procedures involve altering the structure of the cornea, and its curvature. The different surgical options are:

Photorefractive Keratectomy: This surgical option uses a laser beam to take away the middle layer of the cornea. This surgical procedure flattens the curve of the cornea letting the light rays in.

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis): It is a procedure that involves cutting the corneal flap.

Phakic Intraocular Lens: In this procedure, an additional layer of the lens is implanted inside the eyes.

When Should One Seek Medical Attention?

Schedule a visit with an ophthalmologist if the child shows any signs of vision issues or if the teacher notes potential concerns. Individuals should seek attention if they find difficulty in the vision quality or while driving.

What Are the Complications of Myopia?

  • Negative school experiences.

  • Eyestrain.

  • Reduction in the quality of life.

  • Impaired safety.

  • Eye problems like cataracts, retinal detachment, glaucoma.

Conclusion

Myopia is a common refractive error characterized by difficulty seeing distant objects. While corrective measures are effective in managing myopia, there is a growing emphasis on proactive approaches like lifestyle modification and myopia control interventions to mitigate its progression, especially in children. Continued research and public awareness are important.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is also known as nearsightedness. It affects distance vision. The person can see near objects clearly but faces difficulty viewing distant objects. The vision disorder is usually diagnosed before age twenty.

2.

Can Myopia Be Treated?

There is no cure for myopia, but treatment like prescribing glasses and contact lenses can reduce symptoms. In addition, the treatment can slow or stop the condition from worsening and prevent the lifetime risk of serious eye diseases.

3.

How Much Is Nearsightedness Normal?

Myopia or nearsightedness depends upon the severity of the eyesight. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. The mild nearsightedness range between -0.25 to -3.00 diopters, moderate -3,25 to -6.00 diopters, and severe -6.25 to -10.00 diopters.

4.

How Can Myopia Be Treated Naturally?

Five ways to treat myopia naturally.
- Protect eyes from the sun.
- Eat a healthy diet, including fruits, green leafy vegetables, salmon, and tuna.
- Protect the eyes from the sun by wearing eye protection.
- Reduce eyestrain by taking proper eye rest.
- Avoid smoking because it harms eyesight.

5.

Does Screen Time Affect Eyesight?

Screen time like phone, tablet, television, or computer can increase myopia in young people. The digital screen can cause eye strain due to low screen contrast, and people watching the screen do less blinking. The symptoms of digital eye strains include blurred vision, headache, and dry eyes.

6.

What Food Improves Myopia?

The food that improves eyesight include:
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Eggs.
- Carrot.
- Citrus fruits and berries.
- Nuts that contains vitamin E, like almond and walnut. It acts as an antioxidant that improves eyesight.
- Deep-water fish maintains eye lubrication and prevent dry eyes.

7.

Does Wearing Glasses Improve Eyesight?

Glasses are the ideal treatment for correcting vision. Therefore, the optometrist examines the lens needed to correct the vision. Although glasses do not permanently improve eyesight, they prevent eye symptoms from worsening.

8.

Does Myopia Worsen With Age?

Myopia worsens with age. The mild or moderate myopia stabilizes by the early 20s. Conversely, severe myopia can increase in a person in their twenties. In addition, visual stress and diseases like cataracts and diabetes can increase the condition.

9.

At What Age Is Myopia Common?

Myopia is a common problem at the age of six to fourteen. At preschool age, the eyes continue to grow. However, the condition stops progressing after age twenty.

10.

At What Level Can Myopia Lead To Blindness?

Myopia is divided into three levels mild, moderate, and severe. Severe myopia over -6.00 diopters without glasses and contact lenses can lead to blindness.

11.

How to Treat Myopia?

Myopia can be treated in the following ways:
- The most common way to treat myopia is to wear eyeglasses. 
- In addition, the eye specialist may prescribe contact lenses to treat the condition.
- LASIK is a surgical procedure to correct myopia. 
- Photorefractive keratectomy is a surgical procedure to correct mild or moderate myopia.
- An intraocular lens implant is surgically inserted into your eye, and the procedure is done before the cataract develops.

12.

Does Myopia Affect the Central Nervous System?

High myopia can lead to dysfunction of brain activities. For example, due to the eyesight problem, the brain does not receive the complete picture of any object or word. As a result, the brain works hard to fill in the missing details.

13.

What Is Severe Myopia?

If the eyesight is over -6.00, diopters may lead to severe myopia. In this stage, the person has a high risk of blindness.
Dr. Gopal R. Damani
Dr. Gopal R. Damani

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)

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