Myopia is a very common eye condition and sometimes referred to as nearsightedness or short-sightedness because objects in the distance become blurry and closer objects are perfectly clear. Myopia comes in several forms of severity, from mild, which may not need treatment, to serious cases that affect the vision substantially. An appointment with the optometrist should be made if distant objects become slightly fuzzy or you have trouble bringing objects at a distance into focus.
School myopia develops in adolescence around the school age, hence the term, this problem can stabilize in the teen years. Adult onset myopia commonly starts around puberty slowly worsening until the eye is fully developed. Late onset myopia happens in adults around the age of forty and onwards. Myopia affects over 128 million North Americans and 1.6 billion people globally, and still rising.
What is the cause of myopia?
A refractive eye condition is when the structure of the eye has errors which cause how light rays enter the eye. The eye grows with the rest of the body and sometime the back of the eye can grow too long, which stops light rays reaching the retina and causing distant objects to blur. Myopia is associated with genetics or several environment factors.
Environment factors causing myopia in children include:
Excessive close up work
Poor quality illumination
Lack of outdoor activity
Font size in print books
Very poor eye care
Uncorrected refractive errors
Children should be encouraged to participate in more outdoor activities, giving them longer breaks, more often from close work, which could help prevent the onset of myopia.
The IMPA (International Myopia Prevention Association) suggest that if children start to wear reading glasses for close work as soon as the first signs of myopia appear, it could prevent the problem from deteriorating further. Equally, new studies from a distinguished vision scientist called David Troilo, has proposed the introduction of contact lenses that can be used to aid the growth of children's eyes using multi-zonal lenses with alternating rings of negative and positive focal lengths. This, he suggest, can stop the progression of myopia in young adolescence.