Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a common type of refractive error where close objects appear clearly, but distant objects appear blurry.
Nearsightedness develops in eyes that focus images in front of the retina instead of on the retina, which results in blurred vision. This occurs when the eyeball becomes too long and prevents incoming light from focusing directly on the retina. It may also be caused by an abnormal shape of the cornea or lens.
Nearsightedness can affect both children and adults. The condition affects about 25 percent of Americans. Nearsightedness is often diagnosed in children between 8 and 12 years of age and may worsen during the teen years. Little change may occur between ages 20 to 40, but sometimes nearsightedness may worsen with age. People whose parents are nearsighted may be more likely to get the condition.
Some of the signs and symptoms of nearsightedness include:
- Difficulty seeing distant objects, such as highway signs
An eye care professional can diagnose nearsightedness and other refractive errors during a comprehensive dilated eye examination. People with this condition often visit their eye care professional with complaints of visual discomfort or blurred vision.
Nearsightedness can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
Eyeglasses are the simplest and safest way to correct nearsightedness. Your eye care professional can prescribe lenses that will correct the problem and help you to see your best.
Refractive surgery might be a good option for you if you:
Want to decrease your dependence on glasses or contact lenses;
Are free of eye disease;
Accept the inherent risks and potential side effects of the procedure;
Understand that you could still need glasses or contacts after the procedure to achieve your best vision;
Have an appropriate refractive error.
Contact lenses may not be the best option for everyone
Is it Refractive Surgery for me?
Contact lenses work by becoming the first refractive surface for light rays entering the eye, causing a more precise refraction or focus.
In many cases, contact lenses may provide clearer vision, wider field of vision, and greater comfort. They are a safe and effective option if fitted and used properly. However, contact lenses may not be the best option for everyone.
If you certain eye conditions you may not be able to wear contact lenses. Discuss this with your eye care professional.
Refractive surgery aims to permanently change the shape of the cornea which will improve refractive vision. Surgery can decrease or eliminate dependency on wearing eyeglasses and contact lenses. There are many types of refractive surgeries and surgical options should be discussed with an eye care professional.
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