When you can't see at a distance, daily tasks like driving or even simply walking can become both difficult and dangerous.
Nearsightedness is the result of an overly long eyeball or overly curved cornea, which compromises our ability to focus light on the retina.
Am I nearsighted?
Common Signs of Myopia
Trouble Seeing Faraway ObjectsIf you have trouble focusing on distant objects such as road signs or whiteboards at school, you may be experiencing some degree of myopia.
Squinting is a natural reaction when we are trying to focus, regardless of how strong your vision is. However, squinting regularly may be a cause for concern.
HeadachesThe strain of trying to focus on objects that are beyond the natural capacity of your eyes can often causes headaches.
What causes nearsightedness?
Genetics, Health, and Lifestyle
How These Factors Cause Myopia
GeneticsIf one or both of your parents is nearsighted, studies suggest that you face a one-in-three chance of being myopic yourself.
DiabetesHigh blood sugar can cause the lens in your eye to swell, affecting its ability to change shape and focus at a distance. Diabetics often find that by controlling their blood sugar, their distance focus improves.
Lack of SunlightIt was long believed that sitting too close to a television or using a computer too often could result in myopia. However, more recent studies indicate that a lack of exposure to ultraviolet radiation, especially between the ages of 14 and 29, may be the real issue.
How common is nearsightedness?
About 42 percent of Americans ages 12-54 are nearsighted, up from 25 percent in 1971...Children from urban environments are more than twice as likely to be myopic as those from rural environments. National Eye Institute
Maintaining Your Vision
Checkups allow your doctor to detect myopia and recommend ways of correcting or coping with it. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that after starting school, kids should undergo exams every two years until age 18. Starting at age 60, adults should undergo an eye exam annually.
Keep Diabetes under Control
If you are diabetic, be sure to undergo regular checkups with your general practitioner and follow his or her instructions for controlling your condition. Managing your condition goes a long way toward preserving your vision.
Spend Time OutsideResearch indicates that time spent in the sunlight can benefit your vision. While a considerable amount of time indoors may be necessary for work and school, try and make certain you and your child spend some time outdoors each day.
How is nearsightedness diagnosed?
Diagnosing Nearsightedness Is Simple
During a comprehensive eye exam, our doctor will ask you to read letters on a chart at the opposite end of the examination room. Any difficulties reading the smallest print may indicate myopia.
If an eye chart test indicates myopia, a retinoscope can confirm the condition by revealing how your cornea refracts light.
A retinoscope allows your doctor to see how your eye focuses light. After shining a special light into the eye, the retinoscope can reveal if light is focusing in front of the retina instead of directly onto the retina.
I’m nearsighted. Now what?
You Have Many Treatment Options
Glasses and Contact LensesCorrective eyewear is an effective and noninvasive means of improving distance focus. Glasses and contact lenses are customized to accommodate your exact degree of refractive error and enhance your vision.
SurgeryLASIK and PRK are two common refractive surgeries available for altering the shape of the cornea and improving the ability to focus at long distances. This treatment can eliminate or significantly reduce the need for glasses or contacts.
Controlling DiabetesIf you have been diagnosed with diabetes, controlling the condition can benefit your ability to focus on distant objects. However, you may still require some degree of correction in order to achieve the best possible focus.
What should I do now?