Short Sightedness (Myopia)

In order to see, the light rays that come from an object pass through one's eyes to the retina. The nerves in the retina then send impulses to the brain via the optic nerve, allowing us to “see”.

If the light rays are not focused on a particular part of the retina, the image seen will be blurred and fuzzy. Focusing is actually the function of the lens and cornea. The cornea refracts light rays while the lens makes focusing adjustments via changes in its thickness. Such adjustment is referred to accommodation. The human lens can actually become more rounded or flatter because of its elastic qualities. To allow more light rays bent inwards, the lens become more rounded. Changes in the lens' shape are controlled by the small muscles located in the ciliary body attached to the lens.

Refraction or bending of light rays allows focusing of near objects while objects that are far away require less bended light during focusing. This can cause problems when trying to read signs a considerable distance away, watching a theatre performance or using computers.

What happens during short-sightedness?

An individual who is short-sighted will have difficulties seeing objects clearly at a distance since the light rays will be focused at retina's front. Despite maximum lens flattening, the eyes will still have difficulties focusing the light rays more at the back. This will just affect objects which are being viewed at a distance and not the near ones since the light rays will come straight into the eyes. For near objects, the light rays usually go slightly upwards./

Causes of Short Sightedness

Individuals who are short-sighted usually have long eyeballs, with the distance to the retina from the lens farther than normal. Being short-sighted is fairly common and can even be inherited.

Symptoms of Short Sightedness

In most cases, vision problems begin during the teenage years and in rare cases, even earlier. Severity of the condition will usually be dependent on when the symptoms were first experienced. As soon as the person hits adulthood, the condition stabilizes.

Complications of Short Sightedness

There are no known problems associated with short sightedness although individuals who are myopic are at higher risk for macular degeneration, detached retina and glaucoma, which are more serious eye conditions. In order to prevent myopic from progressing into these eye problems, regular eye examinations are recommended as well as reporting of any new symptoms.

Treatment for Short Sightedness

There are several treatment options available for individuals suffering from myopia. Among them are:

  • Glasses – this is the most common and simplest treatment. Because of their concave lens, glasses could easily bend light rays outwards slightly. Thus, the light rays are able to bend back further in the retina as it goes through the lens and cornea allowing for better focusing.
  • Contact lenses – provides similar results as glasses.
  • Surgery – another option that is gaining popularity in recent years. There are presently different types of surgical operations designed to treat short sightedness. The most popular of which is the LASIK or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. This procedure involves removal of a portion of the cornea using a computer-guided laser resulting to a flatter cornea and allowing for the light rays to be focused further back. So far, treatment with this technique is quite effective and many myopic individuals choose this option especially since the result is instant and the procedure is virtually pain-free.

However, caution is given for those undergoing surgical procedure to correct myopia or short sightedness since there are certain complications. For instance, some individuals will experience hazy vision. Also, the vision may just be improved and the individual will still require glasses in order to see clearly.

For this reason, it is important that you are aware of all the information including complications, failure rate and cost in order to make an informed decision. Do not hesitate to ask questions.

Important notice