What is Myopia?

Myopia is a fairly common refractive condition affecting the retina. The retina is a layer at the very back of the eyeball, containing cells that are sensitive to light. Think of the retina like a film strip in a camera, light passes through the lens of the eye to the retina, the nerves in the retina trigger nerve impulses, and send pictures to the brain via the optic nerve.

A person with myopia will have a thin retina, or the retina may have holes, or lattice degeneration. Light streaming through the lens of the eye does not make it’s way to the retina, instead, the image is focused just in front of the retina. Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs in adults, as well as children. While the causes of myopia are still relatively uncertain, recent studies have shown that it is possible to slow down the degeneration of the retina using specially designed contact lenses.

Nearsightedness

Even if you’ve never heard of Myopia, you’re likely familiar with the term “nearsightedness.” This means that you can only see objects when they are up close and objects in the distance appear to be blurry. Patients with more extreme myopia and degeneration may have difficulty seeing objects up close as well. Other symptoms you may experience with Myopia:

  • Headaches
  • Frequent Squinting
  • Eye Fatigue

Myopia Prevention

While the cause of nearsightedness is still relatively uncertain, recent studies have shown that myopia in children can be prevented and/or further degeneration of the retina stopped by ensuring that children get enough playtime outdoors. Studies have shown that nearsightedness may be caused by not receiving enough light, so more time spent in Long Island sun can actually make a child’s eyes stronger!

Another method of prevention involves the prescription of contact lenses designed specifically for myopia sufferers, designed to correct peripheral defocus, which is theorized to cause myopia progression. These specially designed lenses are a nice benefit for myopia sufferers, since a new, and stronger prescription every year will not be necessary.