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Nearsightedness, Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Trigger Factors, Diagnosis, Prevention

Nearsightedness or myopia is a condition of the eye that causes objects that are located near to be seen clearly, while objects that are located far away appear blurred. This condition is also referred to as myopia. The severity of nearsightedness is very diverse in each sufferer. Mild nearsighted people generally do not need special treatment. However, nearsightedness that is classified as severe will affect the ability to see the sufferer so that it must be handled carefully.

Symptoms of Nearsightedness

Symptoms of nearsightedness can occur in anyone and of all ages. But this condition generally starts to be felt by people in school-age to adolescence. The following are symptoms of nearsightedness that often appear.

Nearsightedness, Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Trigger Factors, Diagnosis, Prevention

  • Blurred vision when viewing distant objects so that they often squint, for example, having difficulty seeing the letters on the board.
  • Headaches or tired eyes because the eyes work excessively.
  • Excessive winking frequency.
  • Rub your eyes frequently.
  • Visible not aware of the existence of a distant object.

These symptoms will slowly worsen with age and eye development. For example in the elderly, a decrease in the ability of the eye is usually associated with the formation of cataracts in the lens of the eye.

If you or your child has a significant decrease in vision to interfere with daily activities, check the condition of your eyes or your child to an ophthalmologist.

Nearsighted Causes and Trigger Factors

Under normal conditions, the cornea has a normal shape and size that allows light to enter and focus precisely on the retina. In patients with nearsightedness, the cornea becomes longer or flatter than the normal cornea, so that the light is not focused right on the retina but at one point in front of the retina.

However, the size of the cornea is not the only possible cause. Refractive damage to the eye is the most common cause of this condition. In refractive disorders, the corneal lining is not as smooth as a normal eye so the incoming light cannot be refracted normally. The light that enters the eye is precisely focused in front of the retina so that the long distance view becomes blurred.

The cause behind the damage is not certain. Experts suspect that this condition can be triggered by two main factors, namely heredity and environmental influences.

Children with parents who suffer from nearsightedness have a higher risk of developing the same condition. The influence of the environment also plays an important role, for example, reading too often, watching television, or using a computer.

Nearsighted diagnosis

Nearsightedness can generally be diagnosed through eye examinations by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. This procedure includes several types of tests such as:

  • Measuring visual acuity. In this process, the ophthalmologist will ask you to read and mention each letter or number of different sizes in the table (Snellen diagram) from a certain distance.
  • Check the continuity of performance between the eyes.
  • Measuring pressure in the eyeball.
  • Retinoscopy to see the retinal reaction to light.

If there is a visual impairment detected, the tests also function to measure the glasses or contact lenses needed by the patient. There are 3 main points that are usually stated in prescription glasses or patient contact lenses, namely spheric (s), cylinder (cyl), and axis.

For people with nearsightedness, spheric will show a negative number. The higher the negative number indicated indicates the condition of myopia is getting worse. For example, -3.00 indicates a more severe condition than -2.00. While the cylinder and axis indicate the presence or absence of the cylinder and its severity.

Handling Nearsightedness

Handling nearsightedness is done to help so that light can focus on the retina. The type of treatment chosen depends on the patient's age, the severity of nearsightedness, and the patient's health condition.

Use of glasses or contact lenses

The simplest and most affordable way to treat nearsightedness is to use glasses or contact lenses. The choice of glasses and contact lenses depends on your needs and comfort. If you choose contact lenses, maintaining contact lens hygiene is very important so that you avoid eye infections. Contact lenses should also be removed when you are going to sleep.

Laser beam surgery

The process of operating with a laser beam can also be an alternative. It is estimated that about 90 percent of patients who experience it experience significant changes. In this operation, a laser beam will be used to burn a small part of the cornea so that the curve returns to normal. Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK), laser in situ keratectomies (LASIK), and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) are 3 types of laser surgery that can be chosen.

After undergoing LASEK or LASIK, the ability of your eyes will return in a few hours or days. But total recovery generally takes up to a month. As for PRK, the recovery process until stable back vision can last longer, ie up to several months.

During the healing period, your eyes will experience fluctuations for a while. For example, decreased the ability to see at night and blurred vision when exposed to bright light. But this condition will slowly improve. Your eyes may also feel dry so you will need eye drops to treat them.

Please remember that this procedure is not suitable for nearsighted people under the age of 21 because their eyes are still in the development stage

LASIK can also only be done if the patient has sufficient corneal thickness. LASIK surgery on a thin cornea is at risk of causing blindness. Therefore, patients with less thick corneas are generally recommended to undergo LASEK or PRK.

However, these procedures are not suitable for diabetics, people with weakened immune systems (eg HIV sufferers), pregnant or lactating women, and people with glaucoma or cataracts.

Artificial lens implantation

Another alternative treatment is implantation of artificial lenses into the eyes. This process is done to treat nearsightedness with high severity that cannot be treated with laser surgery. This procedure can be done by inserting an artificial lens without removing the original eyepiece or replacing the original lens with an artificial lens.

Implantation of an artificial lens without removing the original lens is also called phakic lens implantation. This process is generally carried out for young patients with normal reading ability. While the lens replacement procedure is usually more suitable for elderly patients who also suffer from other eye disorders or damage, such as glaucoma.

The most common complication in the implantation procedure is the darkening of the posterior capsule, which is an artificial lens that thickens and causes blurry vision. This complication mostly occurs over a period of several months to years after surgery. Apart from embezzlement, there are a number of potential other complications which include glaucoma, cataracts, decreased night vision ability, and retinal shift.

Prevention of Development of Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness cannot be completely prevented. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to protect your eyes while reducing the development of your eye condition. These steps include:

  • Protect the eyes from the sun. Use sunglasses when traveling during the day.
  • Regular eye health checks.
  • Using glasses or contact lenses with the right size and according to eye conditions.
  • Recognize the symptoms of nearsightedness carefully.
  • Applying a healthy lifestyle, such as quitting smoking and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables (especially those rich in vitamin A).
  • Control of chronic illness, especially diabetes and hypertension.
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