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Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a visual impairment that affects the ability to see objects at a distance. People with myopia have difficulty seeing objects at a distance, but can easily see those that are close up. This defect is increasingly common, especially among children and adolescents, and is a serious eye health problem. In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of myopia, as well as ways to treat and prevent it.
Causes of myopia
Myopia is caused by a refractive defect in the eye, a disorder in the way light is refracted and focused in the eye. In a healthy eye, light is focused onto the retina, which converts images into nerve impulses that are then processed by the brain. In myopia, the eyeball is too long, causing light to refract in front of the retina and leading to a loss of visual acuity. Myopia can also be caused by the optical system in the eye being too powerful.
The causes of myopia are not fully understood, but it is known that the defect is to some extent hereditary. There are also other factors that can influence the development of myopia, such as:
- Long-term focusing of the eyes on close objects, such as reading, writing or using a computer or phone;
- Lack of sufficient lighting or inadequate lighting when working or reading;
- Inadequate diet and lack of adequate nutrients;
- Too little time spent outdoors;
- Endocrine disorders;
- Diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Symptoms of myopia
The most common symptom of myopia is difficulty seeing objects at further distances. People with myopia often need to move closer to objects in order to see them accurately, such as when watching TV or driving. They may also experience headaches, eye fatigue and problems concentrating. In some cases, especially with high myopia, there may also be a risk of complications such as glaucoma, cataracts or retinal detachment.
Correction of myopia
Short-sightedness is corrected with glasses, contact lenses or surgery. Glasses are a very practical and comfortable solution. With the right materials (indexes), even high powers can look aesthetically pleasing. In this respect, it is best to trust your optician, who can help you choose the frame and spectacle lenses to get the best possible result. Contact lenses are also a great option. They are more discreet and correct even very large visual defects, but require proper hygiene and care. The most important thing is to choose the right lenses at an appointment with a contactologist. Glasses and contact lenses are usually effective in correcting refractive errors and improving vision. In cases of high myopia, refractive surgery - laser vision correction, lens implantation or replacement - may be a good option. The eligibility for surgery is decided by the ophthalmologist, who will select the best method of correction.
Prevention of myopia
Although there is no way to prevent myopia in 100%, there are ways that can help reduce the risk of myopia or slow the progression of myopia. One such way is to take frequent breaks from work (the 20/20/20 rule - every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, look at a distance of 20 feet(6 metres)), during which you focus your gaze on close objects, such as reading or using a computer. It is also important to choose appropriate lighting when working and reading, and to take proper care of your diet and lifestyle. Spending time outdoors, taking part in sports and other physical activities, and making sure you have regular eye examinations can help maintain good eye health and reduce the risk of myopia.