Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common eye condition in which objects are visible up-close, but not at a distance. Over 40% of Americans are nearsighted, which is up from 25% in 1971. By the year 2050, it’s estimated that approximately half of the world’s population will be nearsighted.
What is Myopia?
Myopia is a refractive error that develops when light that enters the eye does not bend (refract) properly. This causes light to focus incorrectly on the retina, which results in blurry distance vision. Other examples of refractive errors include hyperopia, or farsightedness, and astigmatism.
What Causes Myopia?
Nearsightedness occurs when the eye grows too long from front to back. This is most often caused by genetic factors — you have a higher risk of developing myopia if your parents are nearsighted. Myopia can also be the result of a curved cornea, a lens that is too thick, or a combination of these factors.
Signs and Symptoms of Myopia
People who are nearsighted experience difficulty reading words from a distance. Seeing road signs, billboards, and classroom lectures are a few examples of situations that can be challenging for nearsighted people. By contrast, nearsighted people can see well for close-up tasks such as reading, computer use, or using a cell phone.
The following signs are also indicators that you may be nearsighted:
- Squinting when viewing objects at a distance
If you experience these signs or symptoms, it’s important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor. Nearsightedness that is not corrected can be dangerous — you can put your safety at risk, especially while driving, playing sports, or operating heavy machinery.
Myopia Treatment Long Island
There are several effective treatment options for myopia:
Glasses or Contacts
Corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses are the most common way to treat myopia.
Both options help refocus light onto the retina, providing you with crisp, clear distance vision.
Eyeglasses are available with high-index lenses, which offer a thinner, lighter eyewear option, while additional features such as anti-reflective coating or photochromic lenses offer protection against glare and UV light. Contact lenses are similar, with options for daily wear, extended wear, and more.
LASIK eye surgery is a safe, effective refractive procedure to correct myopia. During the surgery, a highly precise laser is used to create a micro-thin flap on the surface of the cornea. The laser then sculpts the underlying corneal tissue to correct the refractive error, which results in clear vision. The latest research shows that over 96% of patients are satisfied after LASIK.
In contrast to LASIK, PRK does not require the creation of a corneal flap. Instead, the laser removes the thin outer layer of corneal tissue and reshapes the cornea underneath. This allows light to focus accurately on the retina. Since the eye heals at a rapid pace on its own, the outer layer of the eye repairs itself within a few days of surgery.
Schedule an Appointment
At Stahl Eyecare Experts, our full-service optical shop provides custom eyewear and contact lenses to suit your unique lifestyle. Our expert team of eye surgeons also offer premium PRK or LASIK in Long Island and Manhattan. Contact us to discuss your myopia treatment options today!