Living with myopia can be rather disheartening and challenging. It can be difficult not to be able to see distances clearly, especially when driving or identifying people. Aside from being inconvenienced, myopia can damage your vision as you age.
Learning about myopia will help you reduce its effects and even manage advanced cases. Read on to find out how you can achieve that.
Myopia, also called nearsightedness, is an eye condition that affects your distance vision. With it, faraway objects appear blurry while nearby ones remain clear. That happens when your eyeball stretches too long, preventing light from focusing directly on the retina.
You might have heard of low, moderate, and high myopia. Low myopia refers to mild nearsightedness. Patients with mild symptoms have trouble seeing small prints on the eye chart. You can only see prominent symbols or letters on the eye chart with moderate myopia. High myopia is usually severe, and you can only see the largest symbol or letter on the eye chart.
Myopia can progress slowly or fast, particularly from ages eight to 18. If myopia continues to advance, you may lose your eyesight.
Myopia has no cure as of 2022. But some treatments and control tactics can help slow it down and improve your distance vision. Your eye doctor at Today's Vision will recommend suitable treatment and control strategies based on your case.
Several medical treatments and nonmedical control strategies have shown effectiveness in managing myopia. Medical treatments differ from person to person, depending on age and the growth stage of your eyes. Three main medical treatments help delay myopia's progression. They include:
Atropine eye drops
Myopia-control contact lenses
Orthokeratology (ortho-k) treatment
Nonmedical ways to control myopia include:
Studies show that spending too much time doing close-up activities can worsen myopia. Activities like using a digital screen and reading books encourage myopia's progression. As a result, experts recommend keeping track and reducing your time on a computer, phone, and other digital screens.
Recent research shows that people who spend more time outdoors have lower degrees of nearsightedness or none. This is compared to those who spend less time outdoors. When outside, your eyes can focus on objects at various distances. That helps them exercise and improve their distance focus. Experts recommend spending 14 hours or more per week outside to slow down myopia.
Myopia is becoming increasingly widespread. Statistics from the World Health Organization estimate that by 2050, 50 percent of the world's population will be nearsighted. Since genes do not mutate fast, environmental factors, particularly reduced exposure to sunlight and outdoor activities, are likely to cause the increase.
Those statistics are worrying because having myopia increases your risk of developing vision-threatening eye illnesses later in life, like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and retinal detachment. If you are worried that your sight is deteriorating, schedule a visit with your eye doctor immediately.
For more on myopia and how to manage it, visit Today's Vision at our San Antonio, Texas office. Call (210) 307-4749 to book an appointment today.