Monday, April 15

Understanding Myopia: A Nearsightedness Epidemic

Myopia (commonly referred to as nearsightedness) affects millions of people globally and affects distant objects appearing blurry while close objects can still be seen clearly. Due to increased use of screens and lifestyle changes, especially among children, myopia has reached epidemic proportions – especially among them. We will explore what myopia symptoms are as well as its causes and possible solutions here in this article.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is a refractive error caused when an eyeball or cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) are too long or curved, leading light entering to focus in front of rather than directly onto the retina, blurring distant objects while clearly seeing closer ones. Myopia often first develops during childhood years but may progressively worsen with age.

Is it Epidemic?

Over recent decades, myopia has emerged as an international health issue and even been labeled an epidemic by experts. According to WHO reports, myopia rates have dramatically risen across East Asian nations with some urban areas witnessing over 80% of young adults now possessing myopia attributed to both genetic predispositions as well as environmental influences.

Myopia often runs in families. If one or both parents have myopia, their children are more likely to also suffer from myopia as genetic factors play a crucial part in its occurrence.

Lifestyle and Environmental Factors: Lifestyle and environmental factors also play a crucial role. Too much near work such as reading or using digital devices for extended periods is associated with increased myopia risk; reduced exposure to natural light also plays a part in its formation.

Urbanization: People living in urban environments tend to be more at risk for myopia than those residing in rural regions due to limited outdoor time and increased near work activities; both factors which increase risk.

Risks With involved with Myopia

Myopia may appear like an inconvenience at first, but if left unmanaged it could result in several vision-related complications that require management or correction. These risks associated with myopia include:

Progression of Myopia: Over time, myopia tends to worsen with age – particularly among children and adolescence. High myopia (severe nearsightedness) increases risk factors like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachments.

Retinal Detachment: People with high myopia are at increased risk of retinal detachment, an eye disease in which the retina detaches from its attachment at the back of the eye and poses serious threats to sight.

Glaucoma: High myopia increases your risk for Glaucoma, an eye condition which may result in optic nerve damage and irreparable vision loss.

Cataracts: Myopia has been linked with an earlier development of cataracts – clouding of the natural lens which leads to blurry vision – leading to myopia-related vision loss.

Myopia Management Unfortunately there is no cure for myopia; however there are various strategies which may help manage and slow its progress:

Corrective Lenses: Eyeglasses or contact lenses may help correct myopia for clear vision, though regular eye exams should be carried out to monitor changes to prescription.

Orthokeratology: Ortho-K lenses are special contact lenses worn at night to temporarily reshape the cornea and provide clear vision during the day without glasses or regular contacts.

Atropine Eye Drops: Researchers have observed that low dose atropine eye drops may help slow myopia progression in children by dilation of pupils and temporarily relaxing eye’s focusing mechanism.

Encourage Your Children To Spend More Time Outside: Encouraging children to spend more time outside, especially under natural light conditions, may reduce the risk of myopia.

Conclusion

Myopia has reached epidemic proportions among children. Genetic and environmental influences both play a part in its occurrence; to reduce its risks associated with myopia it’s essential that healthy lifestyle choices, outdoor activities and annual eye exams be encouraged for their protection and gradual slow progression over time. There may be no cure, yet various strategies exist which may manage myopia effectively and ensure better eye health in the long run. Astigmatism also causes one to have blurry visions of things far and near. But  astigmatism causes are different from the ones that cause myopia.