Myopia is a refractive error more commonly called nearsightedness. A refractive error is when the eye does not bend or refract the light at the proper angle. It is hard to see distant objects as they appear blurry, such as a highway sign, but it’s easy to read a book up close.
Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eye doesn’t allow light to focus correctly on the retina. If a person is nearsighted your eyeball is too long from front to back or your cornea is too curved or there are problems with the shape of the lens. Images focus in front of the retina (the light-sensitive part of the eye). Instead of directly right on the retina.
Myopia is a pretty common disorder that affects an estimated 40% of Americans. Myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses, contacts, or refractive surgery.
Symptoms of my Myopia may include:
- blurry vision when looking at distant objects
- The need to screen or partially close the eyelids to see clearly
- Headaches caused by eyestrain
- Difficulty seeing while driving, especially at night this is called night myopia
- Eye fatigue
Nearsightedness is often first detected during childhood and is commonly diagnosed between the early school years through the teens. A child with myopia will exhibit symptoms like:
- persistently squinting
- The need to sit closer to the TV, movie screen, or the front of the classroom
- The child seems to be unaware of distant objects
- Blinks excessively
- Seems to rub his or her eyes frequently
There are three types of myopia:
- Simple-when an otherwise healthy eye is less than 6 diopters
- High-is when the patient exceeds 6 diopters
- Degenerative- This is relatively rare, about 2% of Americans. It is considered to be a progressive condition. People with this form have a significant risk of retinal detachment, cataracts, and abnormal blood vessel growth.