Nearsightedness (Myopia)

Myopia is an eye condition in which one is able to see clearly close up, but objects at a distance appear blurred. This condition occurs because either the eyeball as a whole is too large, or the curvature of the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) is very steep. In either situation, light entering the eye is not accurately focused onto the retina, and this in turn, causes distant objects to appear out of focus and blurry.

Nearly 30% of the population is affected by myopia. There is some hereditary component to this condition, but there is increasing evidence demonstrates that the visual stresses that accompany near work (such as reading and working on a computer) influence the development and severity of this condition as well.

Common symptoms of this condition include:

  • Squinting to help improve your vision
  • Difficulty reading street signs when driving
  • Struggling to read the whiteboard or smart-board in school
  • Straining to see the television clearly

There are several different treatment options for someone diagnosed with myopia. Your eye care professional can prescribe prescription glasses or contact lenses that work to make your vision clear. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may only have to wear the corrective lenses for certain activities. Another alternative to corrective lenses is to try Orthokeratology (Ortho-K), a corneal refractive therapy technique used to treat myopia. This is a non-surgical therapeutic option, which involves wearing a specialty designed gas permeable contact lens at night while you sleep. The contact lens reshapes the cornea, gradually flattening the front surface of your eye so that light entering the eye can directly be focused onto the retina without the need for corrective lenses. There are a variety of refractive surgeries that are utilized to correct this condition as well. If you are interested in any of these treatment options, ask your eye care professional if you would be a good candidate.