Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common refractive error. If you have myopia, you can see objects up close clearly, but objects in the distance will be blurry. Fortunately, the professionals at Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont CA can provide treatment options to allow you to see clearly.
Imagine that you are approaching an intersection but are unable to read the street sign until you are right in front of the intersection. If this scenario is familiar to you, then you may have myopia, otherwise known as nearsightedness. Although this may sound like a minor condition, untreated myopia can increase the chances of developing serious eye conditions. At Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont, our optometrists can perform a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose and treat myopia.
The Risks of Untreated Myopia
Myopia often runs in families. If one parent has this refractive error, you have a good chance of having it as well. If both parents have myopia, your chance increases greatly. Myopia is present at birth, and it worsens during childhood and adolescence.
While myopia may seem to be a common, relatively minor eye condition, if it is left untreated it will progressively become worse. If the severity level of your myopia is high, your macula could tear leading to bleeding in the retina, loss of vision, and blindness. Even people will moderate levels of myopia have increased risks of developing eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and detached retinas.
The Symptoms and Causes of Myopia
Myopia is commonly caused by having an abnormal eyeball structure. Most often the culprits are a long eyeball or curved cornea which causes blurred vision due to objects focusing in front of the retina rather than on it. There are two main types of myopia, high myopia and degenerative myopia. Although the most common symptom is blurred vision at a distance, you can also experience tired eyes, headaches, and strain on the eyes.
Myopia can cause several symptoms. The symptoms in adults include:
- Blurry vision when looking at objects in the distance.
- Needing to squint to see objects in the distance more clearly.
- Headaches due to eye strain
- Trouble driving at night
Myopia is often detected during childhood. The symptoms in children include:
- Sitting too close to the TV
- Excessive blinking
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Persistent squinting
- Being unaware of objects in the distance
Diagnosing and Treating Myopia
Myopia may sound scary especially since needing to read a book up close may be your only symptom. However, the good news is that myopia is easily diagnosed and treated. Although many people seem to forgo their annual eye exam and attempt to make the best out of living with myopia, this is ill-advised. An optometrist can diagnose myopia and determine the severity of the condition by conducting a simple eye exam and refractive assessment.
Treatments for myopia are just as easy. Myopia can be counteracted with prescription glasses or contacts. You will also need to continue to see an optometrist periodically to monitor your eyes for the potential development of other eye conditions. Another treatment option is refractive surgery such as LASIK. This surgery can help to correct myopia and reduce the need to wear glasses.
There are several treatment options available for myopia. You can choose the one that you feel will be the most convenient based on your lifestyle.
- Eyeglasses: Eyeglasses are the most common treatment option. Your eye doctor will have lenses made based on your prescription that is fit in the eyeglass frame of your choice.
- Contact lenses: Contact lenses are common in people who want a more natural appearance. Many people prefer contacts because they won't have an eyeglass frame or dirty lenses obstructing their vision. In addition, athletes find contacts more convenient than sports goggles. If you choose contacts, you will need a pair of eyeglasses to wear as a backup.
- Ortho-K: Ortho-K, also known as orthokeratology, are special contact lenses. These lenses are worn at night. While you sleep, the contacts, gently reshape your cornea. When you remove the lenses in the morning, you will be able to see clearly. Many studies have shown that Ortho-K lenses can slow or stop the progression of myopia in children. It is also a great option if you are a poor candidate for Lasik.
- LASIK eye surgery: Lasik is a laser surgical procedure that reshapes your cornea, correcting your refractive error. It takes just a day for you to start seeing clearly. When you have this procedure performed, you won't need to rely on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly.
Contact Our Optometrist for Eye Care in Fremont, CA
Don’t let your nearsightedness go any longer! If you live in the Fremont area and struggle with myopia. If you are having trouble seeing objects in the distance, schedule an appointment with Warm Springs Optometric Group. Our optometrist will perform a complete eye care exam to determine if you have myopia. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (510) 490-0287.