Everything you need to know about Myopia

Mar 09, 2016 in Eye Care

Two students wearing rucksacks

Myopia, more commonly known as short-sightedness, is a refractive error of the eyes. It causes distant objects to appear blurry, while nearer objects seem clear. Myopia is quite common across the world and in the UK. A 2005 study of a UK university student population found that 50% of them had myopia. Here’s what you need to know about the condition, and what you can do about it.

What is Myopia?

In a normal eye, when light rays enter through the cornea and lens, these together bend the light so that it focuses accurately on the retina. In case of myopia, due to a refractive error in the lens, the light ray bends at a greater angle and therefore, doesn’t focus on the retina. This leads to a blurry image being formed, especially while looking at distant objects. When you move closer to the object, the light bends correctly and focuses on the retina, giving you a clearer image.

Myopia can develop at any age, though it most often develops in childhood or during the teens, and can progressively deteriorate as you age. The causes of myopia are not very clear, though there has been a link established between myopia and genetics. It runs in families and if both parents have myopia, the chances of the child being short-sighted increase considerably. Reduced exposure to daylight and lack of outdoor play during childhood has also been linked to the risk of myopia. Sometimes other conditions such as cataracts and diabetes can cause myopia.

There are different grades of myopia and they depend on different variables, such as:

  • Length of the eyeball
  • Curve of the cornea
  • Power of the lens inside the eye

To correct myopia, you would need a prescription for a minus lens to reduce the angle at which light bends while coming into the eye. In most cases, correct prescription glasses or lenses are enough, and people are not likely to have further complications. However, if the level of myopia is very high, there are risks of developing other conditions such as retinal degeneration, bleeding in the eye and permanent eye damage.

Get Tested

Myopia can be corrected with the right glasses or contact lenses. The first step is to get an eye test. At Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care, you can get a comprehensive eye examination as well as a complete lifestyle evaluation. Our friendly and trained optician will put you at ease and understand your case history, before proceeding with the eye test. We use advanced screening techniques to carry out the eye examination. Based on the result of the eye test, our optician will be able to suggest whether you need prescription glasses, or if contact lenses will be more suitable. We will help you select prescription glasses or contact lenses from our wide range in-store.

Some of our stores stock Ortho-K lenses – orthokeratology contact lenses are worn overnight and they temporarily reshape the cornea to correct myopia and other refractive errors. Book an appointment online with Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care and let us take care of your eyesight.