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Myopia is a refractive area in the eyes caused when the curve in the cornea is disproportionate to the eyeball. The problem may stem from the cornea itself, the lens of the eye, or the length of the eyeball. When this happens, objects that are at a distance appear blurry. Myopia is often referred to as nearsightedness and is one of the most common problems people face with their vision. Estimates from the National Institute of Health indicate that approximately one-third of Americans are nearsighted.
There are many theories as to why people develop myopia, and the reason why one person develops the condition may be completely different from why another gets it. Physically, it happens when the eyeball grows too long. Light hits an area in front of the retina instead of on its surface. The condition is sometimes inherited, or factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, and a person's environment may also play a role. Over time the amount of sunlight a person is exposed to, time spent doing close-up work, and circadian rhythms have all been suspected of contributing to myopia. Once a person develops myopia, however, the emphasis is put on how to correct it, rather than the specific cause.
While an eye exam is the most reliable way for myopia or nearsightedness to be officially diagnosed, many people who have the condition have a general idea that their vision is not what it should be before they come into Lehigh Valley Eye Care in Allentown, PA for their eye exam. In some cases, the patients are children who are straining to read the board at school or can't make out images clearly on the television or movie screen. They may also be adults who are having trouble reading road signs. In many instances, they have already had a less formal vision screening using a standard eye chart, and just need to see an eye doctor to confirm what they know, and to pinpoint the exact level of myopia while looking for other potential problems, including astigmatism or eye diseases.
Vision problems can also come on slowly for some people, and because straining their eyes to see has become second nature, they may not even realize that they are nearsighted. They may, however, experience other side effects, such as headaches from excessive eye strain.
In most cases, correcting myopia is a matter of determining the exact level that it is affecting you by getting your eyes checked by an optometrist at Lehigh Valley Eye Care Associates and receiving a prescription for either eyeglasses or contact lenses. Eyeglasses are made by using curves lenses that bring light rays back to the retina, rather than in front of it. The person puts the glasses on whenever they need to clearly see objects at a distance. For some, this is only when driving, for others glasses are worn almost constantly. Contact lenses are also curved lenses used to refocus light but are worn directly on the eye. Refractive surgery, including LASIK is another option many with myopia may consider. By removing tissue from the inner layer of the cornea, a surgeon can reshape the cornea and provide a great improvement to vision.
Call Our Office in Allentown, PA today!
Not everyone with myopia is a good candidate for all of the correction options for their nearsightedness. Our optometrists at Lehigh Valley Eye Care Associates in Allentown, PA can determine which options you are best suited for. Contact us (610) 432-3258 to schedule an exam.