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Understanding Myopia

​"Despite increasing prevalence, public health burden, and financial costs of myopia, this problem remains largely underappreciated by the ophthalmic community."


Myopia currently affects billions globally, and by year 2050 it is estimated that 4.8 billion people will have myopia and almost a billion will have high myopia. Myopia prevalence increases over time and a significant number is at risk of vision loss. This is because myopia, particularly high myopia, is a complex condition associated with major eye diseases.



 

What is myopia?

Myopia is known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness. This condition causes your distance vision to be blurred compared to your near vision. The earlier a child gets myopia, the more likely he orshe will get become highly myopia as an adult. Myopia tends to rapidly increase from the age of 5 to 15 years old, and usually stabilises in the twenties.

Myopia occurs when the eyeball is longer than a normal eye. The elongation of the eyeball causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. This results in a mismatch between the length of the eye and its focusing power. Thus, distant objects are blurry to the eye. 

 

Symptoms

The most obvious symptom of myopia is blurry vision when you look at faraway objects. Children may have trouble seeing the black or white board at school.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue in eye
  • Squinting
  • Abnormal head postures
  • Rubbing eyes  

 

Risk factors

There are various eye pathologies that can lead to myopia, but the most common type is caused by the rapid elongation of the eyeball. There are a few well known risk factors for this.


Genetics

Myopia tends to run in the family. If one of the parents is myopic, the risk of the child developing the condition is doubled. The risk of myopia is eight times more if both parents of the child are myopic.

Environmental

Environmental factors play a crucial role in myopia development. Lack of outdoor activities and excessive near work like reading and playing electronical devices exposes one to a higher risk of developing myopia.


There are various myopia control methods :
  • Outdoor exposure
  • Optical aids 
  • Contact lens
  • Medications