Myopia is one of the most common refractive errors in recent years, especially at school age. This is largely due to the fact that children are exposed to electronic devices too early and rarely participate in outdoor activities. Let’s explore what are the causes of myopia with Top News in this article!
Causes of myopia
The eye has two parts to help see the surrounding objects:
- Cornea: This is a thin, transparent layer of tissue that lies in front of the surface of the eye
- Vitreous: A clear structure, about the size and shape of M&M candy.
The normally shaped eye will have a smooth curvature, like the surface of a marble. Only when the cornea and lens have such curvature (refraction) can light reach to form a clearly focused image on the retina, the back part of the eye.
If the cornea or lens has an irregular and smooth curvature, light rays cannot reach the retina properly, causing refractive errors.
Myopia occurs when the cornea is too curved, causing light not to enter the retina but focus in front of the retina, resulting in blurred objects when in a distance.
Other refractive errors
In addition to nearsightedness, there are a number of other refractive errors that include:
- Farsightedness: In contrast to nearsightedness, farsightedness occurs when the eyeball is shorter than normal or the cornea is curved too little. In adults with presbyopia, both near and far objects are blurred.
- Astigmatism: Astigmatism occurs when the cornea or lens of one eye is more curved than the other. Astigmatism does not cause blurred vision.
Symptoms of Myopia
Symptoms of myopia may include:
- Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
- Need to squint or partially close eyelids to see clearly
- Headaches due to eye fatigue
- Difficulty seeing when driving, especially at night (nocturnal myopia)’
Myopia often appears early, especially in young children sitting in school seats. Children with myopia show signs of:
- Persistent squinting
- Need to sit closer to the TV, movie screen, or the front of the classroom
- Can’t seem to see distant objects clearly
- Excessive blinking
- Rub your eyes often
When should I go to see the doctor if I am nearsighted?
You should see a doctor when your vision is so blurred that it affects your daily and work activities; decreased your interest in group activities. Your doctor will help you determine your degree of nearsightedness and advise on options for correcting your vision. Also, you should seek emergency medical attention when:
- The sudden appearance of small spots in front of your eyes when you observe everything around you
- Light flashes in one or both eyes
- Small shadow-like marks appear on the eyes
These are warning signs of retinal detachment, a rare complication of nearsightedness. Retinal detachment is an emergency because early detection and treatment are critical.
When does a normal person go for an eye exam?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following times for regular eye exams:
If you are at high risk for certain eye diseases such as glaucoma, you should have your eyes checked every 1-2 years, starting at age 40. If you don’t have any eye problems, you are advised to have your eyes checked. Have an eye exam at the following times:
- Every 5 – 10 years at the age of 20 to 30
- Every 2-4 years at age 40 to 54
- Every 1-3 years at ages 55 to 64
- Every 1-2 years after age 65
If you wear glasses or contact lenses and have a medical condition that puts you at risk for eye complications, such as diabetes, you should have your eyes checked regularly. When you visit your eye doctor, ask your doctor about the schedule for your next visit or visit at any time when abnormalities appear in the eyes.
Children and adolescents
Children should be screened for eye disease and have their vision checked by a pediatrician, ophthalmologist, or other trained screener at the following ages and time periods.
Children should have their vision checked by a pediatrician or ophthalmologist through the following age milestones:
- 6 months old
- 3 years old
- Before the age of 6 and every 2 years in school, face-to-face examination at home or in public.
Who is prone to nearsightedness?
Certain risk factors increase your chances of developing myopia, such as:
- Genetics: Myopia tends to run in families. If one parent has myopia, the child has a higher risk of myopia than other families. The risk is even higher if both parents are nearsighted.
- Environmental conditions: Lack of time outdoors increases the risk of myopia. Children who watch TV regularly, and watch a lot of phones have a higher risk of nearsightedness than other children. Therefore, it is important to get rid of smartphone addiction for children.
Complications of nearsightedness
Myopia is associated with a range of complications ranging from mild to severe such as:
- Reduced quality of life: Untreated myopia can affect the quality of life. You may become less socially engaged after having difficulty performing some tasks.
- Eye strain: Untreated nearsightedness can cause you to squint or strain your eyes to maintain focus. This can lead to eye strain and headaches.
- Reduced safety: Vision problems can affect your safety, especially when engaging in activities such as driving or operating heavy equipment.
- Financial burden: The cost of lens corrections, eye exams, and treatment can become a financial burden. Vision loss can also affect your job, your main source of income.
There are many causes of myopia in particular and refractive errors in general, such as due to the intensity of work-study, and access to electronic devices (television, computer, phone). Accordingly, myopia is often accompanied by retinal degeneration, the degree of degeneration is usually commensurate with the degree of myopia. However, if myopia is regularly worn with glasses, timely examination and treatment will limit the level of retinal degeneration.
In addition to retinal degeneration, people with severe myopia are also at risk for retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, and polycythemia vera – damage to the central retina. Tissue in the long eyeball is stretched and thinned, causing tearing, inflammation, weak blood vessels, easy bleeding, and scarring. Therefore, patients need to know the causes and symptoms of myopia in order to have appropriate examination and treatment directions.
Top News hopes that this article is helpful to you and helps you learn more about the causes of myopia.
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