Myopia is the most common eye condition in the world. In some areas, over half of the population is affected. Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, is a result of the eye having too much refractive power in relation to its length. In other words, light is brought into focus (the focal point) before reaching the retina, because the eye has too much optical power.
This results in faraway objects appearing blurry, because the light is not focused on the retina, where the optic nerve transmits the image to the brain.
The prescription and refractive power of myopia is given in negative diopter. The higher the number, the more severe your refractive error is. Depending on your level of myopia, you may only be able to clearly see objects several centimeters away from you, and in more mild cases, a couple of meters away.
Usually myopia begins to develop between the ages of 6 and 12. The likelihood of this vision defect is increased if one or both of your parent are nearsighted. Although everyone is different, the degree typically changes gradually every year, sometimes more frequently, until later in teenage years. At this age, the severity of the refractive error usually peaks. In rare cases myopia may continue to progress.
While myopia cannot be prevented because the eye condition is hereditary or occurs during growth spurts, research is currently focused on slowing the progression of myopia.
Well over half the world’s population relies on glasses or contact lenses to see well. For many of these people, this may be the best option, and today, there are a variety of spectacle lens and contact lens options available for a wide range of vision needs.
However, many wearers have problems wearing glasses or contact lenses and find that their dependency on visual aids interferes with their daily lives.
Many people want to see – to see well without glasses or contact lenses. Laser eye surgery may provide an alternate solution to glasses and contact lenses. Consult with your eye doctor to determine the best option for your vision and daily life.