What is nearsightedness?

If you have trouble seeing objects from a distance or find yourself squinting at the movies, you may have nearsightedness, or myopia.

This eye condition occurs when light entering the eye cannot be focused correctly onto your retina (the nerve layer of your eye), causing your vision to appear blurry.

The risks

In some cases, the condition can be severe. Extreme nearsightedness, known as high myopia, could cause the eyes to grow larger, increasing risk of:

  • retinal detachment: the detachment of the delicate nerve layer (the retina) from the eyeball
  • glaucoma: damage of the optic nerve due to eye pressure 
  • myopic maculopathy: weakness or damage to the center of the eye, the macula

How to treat nearsightedness

Nearsightedness can be diagnosed with a basic eye exam. The condition is usually detected at a young age, such as when a child has trouble seeing the blackboard. Treatment commonly includes corrective glasses and contact lenses.

Studies have shown that another treatment, orthokeratology or ortho K, can help slow or stabilize myopia in children. With this non-surgical process, a patient wears special hard contacts every night while sleeping. The lenses temporarily mold the eyes so the patient does not have to wear glasses or contacts throughout the day.

Certain medicated eye drops can also control myopia. New soft contact lenses have also recently been approved by the FDA to control myopia.

Nearsightedness can worsen despite treatment with glasses and contact lenses. Contact your doctor today for your best treatment option!

Dr. Chan is well-versed in the latest treatments to control myopia. Clarity Eyecare, serving the Mount Washington neighborhood in the greater Baltimore area, is now accepting appointments. Call or Contact Us for an appointment!


Sources:
  1. Xu L, Wang Y, Wang S, Wang Y, Jonas JB. High myopia and glaucoma susceptibility: the Beijing Eye Study. Ophthalmology. 2007;114(2):216-220. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2006.06.050
  2. Saw SM, Gazzard G, Shih-Yen EC, Chua WH. Myopia and associated pathological complications. Ophthalmic Physiology and Optics. 2005;25(5):381–91.
  3. Mitchell P, Hourihan F, Sandbach J, Wang JJ. The relationship between glaucoma and myopia: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology 1999;106(10):2010–5.
  4. Marcus MW, de Vries MM, Junoy Montolio FG, Jansonius NM. Myopia as a risk factor for open-angle glaucoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmology 2011;118(10):1989–94 e2.
  5. Crim N, Esposito E, Monti R, Correa LJ, Serra HM, Urrets-Zavalia JA. Myopia as a risk factor for subsequent retinal tears in the course of a symptomatic posterior vitreous detachment. BMC Ophthalmol. 2017;17(1):226. Published 2017 Dec 1. doi:10.1186/s12886-017-0629-6
  6. Silva R. Myopic maculopathy: a review. Ophthalmologica. 2012;228(4):197-213. doi:10.1159/000339893
  7. Cheung CMG, Arnold JJ, Holz FG, et al. Myopic Choroidal Neovascularization: Review, Guidance, and Consensus Statement on Management. Ophthalmology. 2017;124(11):1690-1711. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2017.04.028
Glasses for nearsightedness