Nearsightedness, medically known as myopia, is a refractive error many people are born with or develop as they age. Myopia is the most common refractive error of the eye. If you are nearsighted, you typically will have difficulty reading road signs and seeing distant objects clearly, but will be able to see well for close-up tasks such as reading and computer use. Other signs and symptoms of myopia include squinting, eye strain and headaches. Feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports also can be a symptom of uncorrected nearsightedness. Myopia is not a disease, but rather a condition.
What Causes Myopia?
Unlike farsighted individuals, who have a shorter eyeball, myopic patients typically have a longer eyeball. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. Myopia also can be caused by the cornea and/or lens being too curved for the length of the eyeball. In some cases, myopia is due to a combination of these factors. Myopia typically begins in childhood and you may have a higher risk if your parents are nearsighted. In most cases, nearsightedness stabilizes in early adulthood but sometimes it continues to progress with age. If you’re nearsighted, the first number (“sphere”) on your eyeglasses prescription or contact lens prescription will be preceded by a minus sign (–). The higher the number, the more nearsighted you are.
Treatment Options for Nearsightedness
Myopia can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive LASIK eye surgery. Depending on the degree of your myopia, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only when you need very clear distance vision, like when driving or watching a movie. Refractive surgery can reduce or even eliminate your need for glasses or contacts. In LASIK — the most common refractive procedure — a thin flap is created on the surface of the cornea, a laser removes some corneal tissue, and then the flap is returned to its original position.
There are many options for nearsighted patients. Dr. Rosenbaum can help choose the right treatment for your unique vision needs. Contact Rosenbaum Eye and Laser Center today at 517-393-2020 or website to learn more or to schedule a LASIK consultation.