Understanding Myopia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Myopia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Myopia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Myopia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Do you find it challenging to focus on faraway objects? If so, you might have myopia, also known as nearsightedness. It is a prevalent refractive error—affecting over 40 percent of Americans aged 12 to 54—and its occurrence is increasing at an alarming rate.

What is Myopia?


The eye is a delicate and intricate sensory organ that enables you to perceive and comprehend the world. It directs parallel light from distant objects to the retina in a state of natural focus. This action does not need any effort from the front lens. 

Unfortunately, myopia disrupts the normal functioning of this optical system. This causes the light from distant objects to focus incorrectly in front of the retina, leading to blurred vision.

Sometimes, the lens must adjust its focus or accommodate. That involves a deviation from a state of natural focus.

Types of Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness falls into one of three categories:

Simple Myopia


Nearsightedness, in its basic form, does not signify any underlying eye health problem. You can fix this vision problem using prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.

High Myopia


High myopia is a more severe form of nearsightedness. It is recognizable by its early onset and progressive worsening over time. There are significant health hazards from this refractive defect. Your vulnerability to several eye problems rises as a result. The disorders include glaucoma, retinal detachment, and cataracts.

Degenerative Myopia


Individuals with this form of nearsightedness face typical near-vision problems and additional ocular issues. These issues include Forster-Fuchs' spot, lattice degeneration, and retinal atrophy. Sadly, prescription eyewear cannot correct the vision loss caused by this condition.



Myopia is a refractive error that causes distant objects to appear blurry. It happens when the cornea is too curved, or the eye is too long. Either leads to light focusing in front of the retina rather than directly on it. 

While genetics can increase the risk of myopia, environmental factors such as limited time spent outdoors, and excessive close-up reading may contribute to its development. Most cases of myopia are mild and easily correctible with glasses or contact lenses. 

However, high myopia is a severe form that can raise the risk of severe issues like glaucoma, retinal detachment, and cataracts. Degenerative myopia is a rare form that occurs in childhood. It can lead to rapid eye elongation and increase the risk of retinal detachment and abnormal blood vessel growth.



Nearsightedness can make objects in the distance appear blurry while close items remain clear. Other symptoms may include headaches, eyestrain, squinting, and tiredness when looking at things from a distance. 

For children, it may lead to poor school grades, shortened attention span, and holding objects close to their faces. Corrective eyewear and refractive surgery can treat these symptoms. In rare cases, however, more severe disorders can develop.



Myopia treatment options include corrective eyewear, which refocuses light rays onto the retina, or refractive surgery, such as LASIK and PRK, which reshape the cornea. The comprehensive eye exam will determine the prescription strength for glasses or contacts. 

Refractive surgery is unsuitable for children under 18 and may not be possible for those with severe myopia or thin corneas. Alternative surgical options include phakic IOLs or corneal refractive therapy and orthokeratology, which reshapes the cornea through progressively rigid contact lenses worn at night.

Are you struggling with seeing things far away? If so, it is time to schedule an appointment with an eye care professional for a comprehensive exam. Upon diagnosis, you and your eye doctor will explore various treatments.

For more on myopia, visit Chinone Optometry at our Concord or Colma, California office. Call (925) 682-8885 or (650) 992-1800 to schedule an appointment today.

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