At Factoria Eye Clinic, we help our patients with a wide variety of different issues that affect their eyes. However, one of the most common issues that we see in patients today is nearsightedness or myopia. The prevalence of myopia is growing steadily. In the United States, the prevalence of myopia in children ages 5-19 years is estimated to be a breathtaking 42%! Nearsightedness is when you can see objects that are closer to you more clearly, but objects in the distance appear blurry. This issue can affect your ability to drive, navigate, or enjoy the natural world around you. Nearsightedness can also have negative effects on your eye health as well! However, there are a number of possible treatment options that can help you start seeing more clearly today!
The actual reason that you have myopia can vary from patient to patient. However, the most common cause is an eyeball which is longer than average. Other possible causes include improper shape to either the cornea or lens inside the eye. The cornea and the lens are both responsible for clearly focusing the light and images as they enter our eyes so they can be properly interpreted by our brains. The improper shape can distort and blur the image, and our brain cannot compensate for this error.
Typically, nearsightedness occurs when the eyeball is too long, and/or the angle of the cornea is too steep. This means that light is focused directly in front of your retina.
While we cannot predict every person who will develop nearsightedness, there are certain factors that seem to increase the chances that you will be nearsighted.
Genetics – It appears that nearsightedness has a strong genetic link. Just a single parent who has nearsightedness will increase the chances that you will also develop the condition. Your chances are even higher if both parents have myopia.
Eye Strain – Many patients who place their eyes under additional strain seem to have higher rates of nearsightedness. This means that the additional time reading, using handheld devices or looking at computer screens can increase your risk.
Your Environment – Some new studies have correlated higher rates of myopia with people who spend more time indoors. This means that getting outside can potentially help reduce your chances of this type of vision issue. Of course, you should make sure that you wear a hat and sunglasses in bright settings to avoid UV damage.
The World Health Organization (WHO) projects 2.5 billion nearsighted people by year 2020. Approximately 80% of elementary students in Singapore are myopic.
90% of college students in China are nearsighted.
The National Institutes of Health reports that in 1972, the frequency of myopia was 25% in U.S. individuals aged 12 to 54. By 2004, it had increased to 41.6%. (Roan,2010).
In 2004 approximately 26% of all people living in the U.S. and Europe were myopic.
The incidence of myopia in "hunter-gatherer" societies where children perform little near work, is about 1%
Fortunately, there are a number of different treatment options to help restore your vision so that you can maintain a normal daily routine. These can include the use of prescription lenses. If you decide to use prescription lenses, there are many options available for you. The friendly staff at Factoria Eye Clinic will work with you to determine if you are better suited for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
In addition to prescription lenses, we are happy to discuss with you the surgeries that are available to correct your vision. Many patients are interested in surgery because they hope to go about their daily lives without relying on glasses or contact lenses. However, not every patient is a good candidate for surgery, so schedule an appointment for a consult if you’d like to discuss these options.
There are some studies that show early intervention in children can have better prospects for their long-term vision. These approaches are commonly referred to as myopia control. They include three different treatment options. These treatments are generally used in children because their eyes are developing and changing so rapidly. Adults do not see the same benefits using the same approach.
Learn More About Myopia Control
Nearsightedness is a very common issue that we regularly diagnose and treat at Factoria Eye Clinic. If you have been squinting or struggling to see objects that are further away, call today to schedule your appointment and see how we can restore your clear vision!