Myopia is the most common refractive issue. It is caused by the eye being too long and/or the cornea being too curved.
If you can easily see objects at close range, but struggle to distinguish distant ones, you are probably myopic.
Myopia is when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved. When rays of light from a distant object penetrate the eye via the cornea, this causes them to converge on a point in front of the retina, and not directly on it as in the case of emmetropic vision, resulting in the image appearing blurred when it arrives at the brain via the optic nerve.
Myopia is not considered a disease, but rather a visual defect that is often hereditary. There is also a general consensus that extended periods of focusing, for example when doing regular close-up work, can accelerate the development of myopia.
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Symptoms and treatment
The first symptoms of myopia usually appear in late childhood or early adolescence. Whether they involve difficulty reading the board at school, headaches or even squinting, these first symptoms can be disconcerting.
The severity of a person’s myopia changes as they grow, and tends to stabilise when they reach their early twenties and the eye is fully developed.
Once diagnosed, patients have three options for correcting their myopia: glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. The latter is only available to patients whose eyesight has remained stable for at least two years and who are over the age of 20. Although contact lenses do provide wearers with more freedom to perform sports and certain professional activities than glasses, they also entail a demanding daily routine both in terms of their use and the strict hygiene required in order to avoid any damage to the eye. Not to mention the fact that certain individuals do not tolerate contact lenses very well.
Of all these options, only one can banish all of the constraints associated with wearing and looking after glasses or contact lenses: refractive surgery.
Prior to treatment, the patient undergoes a thorough preliminary examination so that they can be advised as to the best procedure based on certain anatomical criteria in relation to their cornea. Once the type of procedure has been determined, laser eye surgery is performed in order to modify the curvature of the cornea and flatten it out, so that images can be focused directly on the retina. This allows the patient to see normally again. When laser surgery is not possible, an intraocular implant is used instead, which also allows images to be focused on the retina.
Your questions about myopia
Is myopia hereditary?
Yes, it is true that your risk of developing myopia is higher if one of your parents also suffers from it.
Can refractive surgery correct myopia?
Certainly. Myopia can be corrected using refractive surgery. Our latest-generation lasers allow us to correct myopia of up to -10.0 dioptres in record time.
Is it possible for myopia to go away on its own?
No, unfortunately it is not possible for myopia to improve of its own accord. In fact, this visual defect tends to get worse as a person gets older, before stabilising at the age of around 25 on average. Slight fluctuations can also be seen during certain periods of a person’s life, such as during pregnancy or a growth spurt.
Hyperopia is caused by the eye being too short and/or the cornea being too flat. This means additional focussing power is required in order to see clearly, which is referred to as accommodation. People with hyperopia have better distance vision than near vision.
Astigmatism is an error in the curve of the cornea. Instead of being spherical, the cornea is oval instead. People with astigmatism have poor distance and near vision.
Presbyopia is a common visual defect in individuals aged over 40. This vision problem becomes evident as the eye ages. It results in a progressive deterioration of near vision with age.