Myopia is a phenomenon that appears at a young age and can be imperceptible at first. How is myopia diagnosed? How are you treated? Could it be dangerous?
Myopia is a very common vision disorder in which the person sees distant objects in a very blurry way, while objects close to the eye are still clearly visible.
Myopia can cause significant damage to the quality of life.
How does that happen?
In the condition of myopia, the optical system in the eye that focuses the ray of light is too strong. That is, instead of focusing the light rays coming from a distance in the center of vision on the retina, the rays are concentrated in the middle of the eye, in front of the retina.
Myopia is usually caused by the elongation of the eyeball and in some cases by the curvature of the cornea or changes in the lens of the eye.
What are the causes of myopia (myopia)?
The causes of myopia can be genetic and environmental.
In families with parents with high myopia, the children will also tend to this. In addition, studies show that myopia can be more common in specific populations, for example in people of Asian descent.
In some families, severe myopia appears as part of a genetic syndrome, for example in some connective tissue diseases such as Marfan syndrome.
Environmental factors such as working in front of close objects (e.g. screens) and reduced exposure to sunlight can contribute to myopia development in children.
How common is the phenomenon?
Myopia that requires optical correction exists in about a quarter of the population.
In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the rate of myopia mainly in the developed world and it is estimated that in 2050 about half of the world’s population will suffer from myopia and about a tenth from pathological myopia.
Can myopia be dangerous?
The unit of measure for myopia is a diopter (Diopter – the power of the lens needed to correct the defect).
When myopia is over 6 diopters or when the length of the eye is over 26.5 mm, myopia is defined as pathological – a phenomenon that exists in about 2% of the population. This condition is sometimes accompanied by adhesion of the retinal layer and an increased risk of retinal problems, such as tears, separations, and diseases of the visual center (the macula).
Therefore, patients with pathological myopia should be regularly monitored by an ophthalmologist, periodically perform a retinal examination with dilated pupils and urgently contact an ophthalmologist if they detect any vision change.
When to see a doctor?
It is important to consult a doctor especially if you notice the following signs, which indicate a problem with the retina and require immediate treatment: flashes of light, new black drones in the field of vision, the appearance of a curtain screen in part of the field of vision or distortion of the field of vision – when straight lines are seen as crooked.
How is nearsightedness detected at an early age?
Usually, the phenomenon appears at a young age and can be mild to imperceptible.
Myopia is often diagnosed in the screening tests conducted in schools.
It is also recommended to make sure to perform eye tests and vision tests according to the child’s age.
How is myopia treated?
If your child has been found to suffer from myopia, it is recommended to contact an ophthalmologist for further follow-up.
Some treatments can somewhat slow down the development of myopia in children, especially treatment with diluted atropine drops.
When myopia progresses, it will be necessary to correct the vision with glasses, contact lenses, surgery to remove glasses or other means of treatment.
If the patient is going to undergo cataract surgery, the myopia problem can also be solved during the same surgery.
What can be done to reduce the risk of myopia?
As mentioned, it has been proven that activity outside the home and working in far vision ranges can also help prevent myopia, therefore it is recommended to encourage children to be active outside and minimize screen time.