Myopia - Nearsightedness

Myopia (nearsightedness) or difficulty seeing far away is a refractive error, which means that the eye does not bend or refract the light properly to a single focus to see images clearly. People with myopia have good near vision but poor distance vision. They can typically see well enough to read a book or computer screen but struggle to see objects far away.

 

Myopia Eye Diagram

Myopia in Children

Myopia is inherited and is often discovered in children during their exam at the pediatrician's office or at school. During the teenage years, when the body grows rapidly, myopia may become worse.

Champ StudyLearn about a national research study at Eye Physicians of Central Florida of an investigational eyedrop that may decrease the progression of nearsightedness in children.

Myopia Diagnosis

At Eye Physicians, myopia may be diagnosed as part of a comprehensive eye examination. This may be determined in several ways.  We can detect how light is focused within the eye by use of a handheld instrument called a retinoscope.  This can also be determined by a machine, referred to as an autorefractor.  A patient is then often asked which lenses they feel best improve their vision.  This is called a subjective refraction.  Children, especially, are often checked after their eyes are dilated.  This may allow for a more reliable diagnosis in our younger patients.  It is not necessary for a child to be able to read a chart to determine their need for glasses.  This can be checked in any patient, including young babies

Causes of Myopia

Numerous studies have shown a higher rate of myopia in children with nearsighted parents and an even higher risk for children when both parents are nearsighted.

Some studies support the idea that a lack of time spent outdoors may increase the chances of developing myopia.

People who do a lot of reading, writing or computer work may be at increased risk for myopia.

Some genetic disorders have a high association with myopia. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is also a risk factor for the development of myopia later in life.

Myopia Symptoms

Myopia or nearsightedness symptoms may occur at any age.  It is occasionally present in babies.  It frequently develops between ages 8-12. As children grow, myopia may become worse during their teenage years.  It eventually stops changing, usually between 18-22 years, as the eye stops growing.

Sometimes people with undiagnosed myopia have headaches and eyestrain from struggling to see things clearly at a distance.   Most headaches in childhood are unrelated to their eyes.

Treatment for Myopia

Eyeglasses or contact lenses are the most common methods for treatment of nearsightedness. They refocus the light rays of the retina, compensating for the shape of your eye.

Eyeglasses also help protect eyes from harmful UV rays. Onsite Optical at Eye Physicians of Central Florida offers special lens coating that screens out UV light. We provide prescription and designer eyewear and sunglasses, as well as a special collection of kids’ eyewear frames, polycarbonate lenses and swim goggles for safety.

Some people choose to correct myopia with LASIK or other types of refractive surgery. This surgical procedure is used to correct or improve vision by reshaping the cornea, or front of the eye, and adjusting eye focusing ability.  Refractive surgery is usually not done in children.  It is essential that the eyes are no longer growing and changing refractive error to help ensure a stable result.

Learn More about a national research study (CHAMP) that may decrease the progression of nearsightedness in children.

Other refractive errors

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