Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. Today, this eye disorder is the most common condition all over the world. Typically, people with this problem sees clearly only those objects situated near them. The rest becomes blurry. Understanding nearsightedness’ physiology may have an impact on the prognosis of the problem on an individual and on the whole population as well.
Compared with some major health issues, myopia may be the most neglected world health concern. It slipped through the hands of eye experts to rise as the fourth leading cause of legal blindness in some Asian countries like Hong Kong. There were only few and less effective treatment available in the past that untreated, it has now become a leading mid-year crises.
The most common symptoms of this disease are headaches, squinting, fatigue during an activity or when viewing far distance and eyestrain. Affected school children generally complain of difficulty reading from the chalk board. It is alarming that a growing number of children is suffering from this disease. And there is a marked rise of cases in highly literate Asian countries suspecting reading and computer usage as the culprit.
It is paradoxical that this treatable condition has risen like a widespread epidemic. Treatment is focused on correcting either of the two things that may have occurred in the eyes of the patient, an over-curvature of cornea or the elongation of the eyeball. In these two instances, when light enters the affected eye, it fails to reach the retina.
Vision test is one of the exams done to check if the patient’s vision is defective. This test uses a standardized chart for reading letters. The patient is asked to stand 20 feet away from the chart to read the letters. If the patient can only read with ease the letters that normally can be read without strain as far as 80 feet, his vision is said to be 20/80.
Myopia is often prescribed with a set of prescription glasses. These glasses adjust the light’s focal point to reach the light sensitive retina. Although it helps to use prescription glasses, it may aggravate the condition causing the patient to need glasses with higher grade. Surgical procedure may be another means that could eliminate dependence on lens or glasses.
The most popular prescriptions for myopia are laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis photorefractive keratectomy, and corneal ring implants. A surgical procedure called photorefractive keratectomy or PRK uses a laser to remove some corneal tissues to reshape it. Its aim is to correct the corneal curvature.
Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis commonly known as Lasik is another surgical procedure for treatment of myopia. It uses laser to slice the top of the cornea in flap, remove some corneal tissues and re-place the flap. This surgical procedure is the most popular treatment for myopia.
A friendlier option is the plastic corneal rings since it does not involve removal of corneal tissues that cannot be reversed. It reshapes the curves of the cornea by implanting ultra-thin rings under its the edges. The best thing about this implant is that it can safely be replaced, removed or left in place.
Myopia is preventable and curable. Understanding nearsightedness helps in making informed decisions with regards to treatment. It also helps in forming preventive measures as well as reversal of damage for those that are in the earlier stage of the vision disorder.
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