What is Myopia?
Myopia is a fairly common refractive condition affecting the retina. The retina is a layer at the very back of the eyeball, containing cells that are sensitive to light. Think of the retina like a film strip in a camera, light passes through the lens of the eye to the retina, the nerves in the retina trigger nerve impulses, and send pictures to the brain via the optic nerve.
A person with myopia will have a thin retina, or the retina may have holes, or lattice degeneration. Light streaming through the lens of the eye does not make it’s way to the retina, instead, the image is focused just in front of the retina. Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs in adults, as well as children. While the causes of myopia are still relatively uncertain, recent studies have shown that it is possible to slow down the degeneration of the retina using specially designed contact lenses.
Even if you’ve never heard of Myopia, you’re likely familiar with the term “nearsightedness.” This means that you can only see objects when they are up close and objects in the distance appear to be blurry. Patients with more extreme myopia and degeneration may have difficulty seeing objects up close as well. Other symptoms you may experience with Myopia:
- Frequent Squinting
- Eye Fatigue
The best way to confirm myopia in an individual is to schedule an appointment with an eye care professional. The eye doctor will use instruments such as an autorefractor or retinoscope to assess the patient’s eye. Then, using a phoropter, the eye doctor will prescribe glasses or corrective lenses. Austin optometrist Dr. Tammy Vo specializes in Myopia, and can discuss with you at length the condition of your eyes and myopia prevention.
While the cause of nearsightedness is still relatively uncertain, recent studies have shown that myopia in children can be prevented and/or further degeneration of the retina stopped by ensuring that children get enough playtime outdoors. Studies have shown that nearsightedness may be caused by not receiving enough light, so more time spent in the Austin sun can actually make a child’s eyes stronger!
Another method of prevention involves the prescription of contact lenses designed specifically for myopia sufferers, designed to correct peripheral defocus, which is theorized to cause myopia progression. These specially designed lenses are a nice benefit for myopia sufferers, since a new, and stronger prescription every year will not be necessary.
Phone: (512) 774-6002
Fax: (512) 774 -5975
2007 S 1st St Suite 104
Austin, TX 78704
We are located on South 1st Street across from Polvo's and next to Once Over Coffee. Feel free to give us a call if you need directions!
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