What is Myopia?
Myopia, commonly called nearsightedness, is an eye condition where the light entering your eye focuses in the wrong place, causing images to blur. Someone who has myopia can see things that are close but cannot clearly see things far away.
The exact cause of myopia is a mystery, but there is significant evidence that people inherit the tendency to have myopia. If one or both your parents have myopia, it is more likely that you will be nearsighted.
Research suggests that people who spend extensive time working at a screen, reading or doing intense visual tasks may be more likely to develop myopia.
Doctors diagnose myopia with a basic eye exam. Although doctors cannot cure it, you can improve your vision in various ways, including prescription lenses or surgery.
Myopia affects nearly 30 percent of the population in the United States and is a leading cause of vision loss throughout the world. (x)
Symptoms of Myopia
Watching for symptoms of myopia helps you diagnose the health concern, so you can take corrective actions to improve your vision. Some indications of myopia include:
- Blurry Vision
Blurry vision can be a sign of myopia. It occurs because the elongated shape of your eye causes light rays to bend (refract) inaccurately. Instead of focusing an image on the retina, the eye focuses the image in front of the retina. The projection of the image “comes up short” of where it should, and therefore another term for myopia is shortsightedness. You can have myopia and may experience no vision problems while using the computer or reading, but distant objects appear blurry. (x)
- Vision Problems While Driving
Another symptom of myopia is difficulty seeing road signs and faraway objects while driving. You may catch yourself leaning over the steering wheel trying to read the street signs.
Headaches are one of the common symptoms of uncorrected myopia. Someone with myopia may struggle to see objects that appear blurry, causing eye strain. Eyestrain, also known as asthenopia, often results in a headache. (x)
Other Symptoms of Myopia
- Myopia often surfaces during childhood. Classic symptoms of myopia may include:
- Need to sit closer to the front of the classroom or screen
- Unawareness of distant objects
- Perpetual squinting
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Partially closing the eyelids to see objects
- Blinking more often than normal
Causes of Myopia
Understanding the different causes of myopia will help you prevent or slow down the onset of this eye disease. Some grounds of the health concern include:
- Refractive Error
If your eye becomes elongated, it will cause improper light refraction just short of the retina. This refractive error is myopia. Infants are actually born with a shorter-than-normal eyeball, making them temporarily farsighted. The eye slowly becomes longer until it becomes wholly formed. Researchers are studying this process to determine how much of the eye shaping process is by genetics and how much is by early visual experience and other factors. (x)
- Lack of Time Outdoors
Studies have shown that intense, natural light can protect against myopia. Global studies have also shown that myopia is lower in groups of children who spend lots of time outdoors. Scientists are studying the theory that increasing playtime outdoors may help support good vision. (x) (x)
- Excessive Reading & Screen Time
Studies have shown that excessive reading or screen time may contribute to the onset of myopia. (x) There are some theories why this may be true. Some have suggested that myopia progresses because your eye fixates too much for a long time without rest. Other scientists say that the visual system organizes into “on and off” pathways. The on pathway encourages proper eye development, and the off pathway discourages attention to fine visual details. Researchers assert that black text on a white background stimulates the off pathway. (x)
A person who experiences vision problems can have a comprehensive eye exam to determine if he has myopia.
A basic eye exam involves identifying letters on a distance chart, measuring visual acuity. Your eye doctor records it as a fraction, such as 20/40. The top number is the distance at which they perform the test (20 feet). The bottom number records the smallest letter size you have read accurately.
An optometrist may use a handheld retinoscope to measure how your eye focuses light, or an automated instrument that shows how the eye focuses. The optometrist uses the information to diagnose myopia and determine the type of treatment needed.
There are different ways to correct myopia. An optometrist can help you choose the best treatment for your unique situation and lifestyle. Treatment options include:
It’s a common choice for vision correction. Some people may need to wear glasses all the time, and some may only need to wear glasses for some activities, such as driving.
- Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are the best choice for some people, offering a wider field of view than eyeglasses.
- Orthokeratology or CRT
Another option for treating myopia is non-surgical, corneal refractive therapy (CRT) or orthokeratology (ortho-k). It allows you to wear a series of unique, rigid contact lenses that gradually reshape the cornea, changing the way your eye focuses light. It may be the best treatment for you if you have myopia.
- Laser Procedures
Laser procedures are also plausible options for treating myopia. In this procedure, a laser beam reshapes your cornea by removing a small amount of eye tissue.
Other Refractive Surgery Procedures
People who have severe myopia or whose corneas are too thin for laser procedures may have their myopia corrected by surgery. The doctor can implant small lenses within your eyes, replacing the natural lens or adding the implanted lens in front of the natural lens.
Vision Therapy for People with Stress-Related Myopia
Vision therapy is an option for people whose vision problems result from muscle spasms around the eye. Eye exercises can also improve eye focus in some cases.
Related Vision Issues
There are other related vision issues with myopia that you might not know. They include:
- Myopia vs. Hyperopia
In myopia (nearsightedness), the optical image focuses wrongly in front of the retina, often because the eyeball is longer than average.
In hyperopia (farsightedness), your eye receives the image as focused behind the retina, often because the eyeball is shorter than average.
- Astigmatism vs. Myopia
A refractive error — the way the eye bends light causes astigmatism, like myopia. Astigmatism occurs when the clear front cover of the eye (cornea or lens) becomes irregularly shaped. It prevents light from focusing correctly on your retina, causing blurred vision and headaches. Astigmatism can be present along with myopia or hyperopia, and slight astigmatism rarely affects vision. Astigmatism can be hereditary and may increase or decrease over time. (x)
Presbyopia is a vision condition where the shape of your eye lens changes, making it difficult to focus on objects at close range. This condition results from aging, and nothing can prevent it. People often notice changes in vision in their 40s, although the changes happen gradually. Signs of presbyopia include blurred vision at an average reading distance, eye fatigue and headaches. Presbyopia can complicate other vision issues like myopia and hyperopia. People use reading glasses, bifocals or progressive lenses to compensate for presbyopia.
- Myopic Degeneration (Pathologic Myopia)
Myopic degeneration (pathologic myopia) occurs when your eye gradually stretches. It causes damage to the retina, the lining of light-sensitive cells in the back portion of the eye. People with severe forms of myopia are at a greater risk for myopic degeneration. A person with myopic degeneration may experience a gradual decrease in central vision, although peripheral vision may remain unaffected. Myopic degeneration may be hereditary and unavoidable, though early detection and treatment can minimize vision loss. (x)
- Night Myopia
Some people only experience blurred vision at night because the low light prevents them from seeing correctly, or the increased size of the pupil allows unfocused light rays to enter the eye. Night myopia is the name of the condition. Even people with otherwise perfect vision can have night myopia. (x)
People who do a considerable amount of intense, close-up work may have blurry vision because of the overuse of the eye focusing mechanism. The eyes cannot refocus distances after long periods of work, but after the eyes have rested, clear distance vision returns. However, constant visual stress over time may lead to permanent vision reduction.
Myopia Remedies and Supplements
Certain health supplements support good vision. Whenever you decide to start a new supplement, discuss it with your doctor to avoid adverse side effects. These include:
- Vitamin A Palmitate
Vitamin A palmitate is a powerhouse supplement for eye health. Vitamin A can help the eye adjust to changes in light, keep the eyes moist and prevent the formation of cataracts. The recommended dosage as a dietary supplement, take 30 mg once daily.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a super antioxidant that may prevent cataracts and reduce macular degeneration. As a dietary supplement, the recommended dosage is one capsule (750 mg) up to four times daily or as directed by a physician.
Zinc is essential because it helps convert beta-carotene into usable vitamin A. The eyes need zinc to function properly. The recommended dosage as a dietary supplement is 100 mg one to three times daily or as directed by a physician.
Eyebright can counteract eye inflammation, tightening the membranes around the eyes while improving circulation in the eye area. As a dietary supplement, the recommended dosage is 1,000 mg (scant 1/2 tsp) once daily or as directed by a physician.
Where to Buy Supplements for Myopia?
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Are you interested in trying any of these supplements mentioned in this article as a possible solution to helping you with your myopia? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
Balanced Recreation Helps Your Eyes
Researchers are studying the rising rate of myopia in the younger generation. In fact, findings suggest that the use of electronics and fluorescent lighting could be controllable factors in this disturbing trend. (x)
Some recommendations that may help prevent myopia in children include:
- Avoid the use of electronic media before the age of two
- Limit electronic use to one hour a day in children aged two to five
- Children should get 45 minutes of time outdoors each day
- Abstain from electronic devices one hour before bedtime
The Bottom Line
Myopia is a common condition, and there is no widely obvious way to prevent or cure it. But there are effective ways to help reduce and slow down the onset of the disease, such as limiting screen time, vision therapy and spending more time outdoors.
Supplements may help slow down or prevent the occurrence of this health concern. Talk with your doctor about taking the above supplements, such as vitamin A, C and zinc.
Heredity plays a part in myopia, and environmental factors may also contribute to its symptoms and progression. A thorough eye examination can determine if a person has myopia, which you can manage in a variety of ways.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.