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Nearsightedness, Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

Nearsightedness is a disorder of the eye which causes the sufferer to not be able to see objects close clearly or look blurry but usually objects that are far away are clearly visible. Nearsightedness, also known as hyperopia or hypermetropia, is often associated as a refraction problem. In the eyes that experience hypermetropia, the light that should be reflected right on the retina (light-sensitive eye layer) becomes reflected behind the retina. As a result, close vision will become blurred and the eyes will become easily tired.

Symptoms of Nearsightedness

You are most likely to suffer from farsightedness if you experience the following symptoms:

  • The distant object is clearly visible, but the near object looks out of focus and blurry.
  • Eyes feel tired after seeing a close object, such as using a computer or reading.
  • Have to wander your eyes to see clearly.
  • Difficulty reading.
  • Eyes feel hot and itchy.
  • Headache.

Nearsightedness generally occurs in people over the age of 40, but a small percentage of children can also be born with this condition.

Nearsightedness, Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

Children's eye lenses are more flexible than adults, so usually, children who suffer from nearsightedness don't always have problems with their vision. But farsightedness in children must be addressed immediately because it can cause complications, such as lazy eyes (amblyopia) or squint (strabismus). Check your child's eye condition regularly to the doctor to find out if there is a problem with his vision.

Causes of Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness occurs because the light entering the eye is not focused inside the retina, but is focused behind it. This happens because the cornea is too flat or less curved, the lens is less thick, and the eyeball is too short.

The eyepiece will try to change its thickness (becoming thicker and rounder) to adjust the reflection of the light to be right on the retina. The process of adaptation by this lens is called accommodation. But in nearsighted patients, the ability of eye accommodation is not effective enough. As a result, the vision will become blurred because the light cannot focus properly.

The following are some of the factors that can cause farsightedness.

  • Genetics. Some people inherit nearsightedness by parents.
  • Age. Nearsightedness is more common in people over 40 years of age, but it is still possible to experience any age.

In addition to the several factors mentioned above, there are also other factors which, although rare but can cause nearsightedness, namely tumors around the eyes, diabetes, blood vessel problems in the retina or foveal hypoplasia, and eyes that don't develop perfectly when the baby is still inside uterus or called small eye syndrome.

Nearsighted diagnosis

To diagnose farsightedness, an ophthalmologist will ask the patient's health history and do a series of eye examinations. At first, the doctor may ask questions such as whether there are specific vision problems, and if there are, how long it has lasted. The doctor will also ask whether you are undergoing treatment or suffering from certain health problems.

After that, there are several tests that may be performed by an ophthalmologist, including:

  • Visual acuity test. In this test, you will be asked to read a diagram containing a series of letters of different sizes from large to small, called Snellen Chart. This test aims to examine vision, both close and medium distance. If you use glasses or contact lenses, please remove them first because this test will be done with and without glasses or contact lenses.
  • Retinoscopy. This test is done to examine the inside of the eye, especially the retina, using a device called an ophthalmoscope. In addition, this test also checks eye coordination and movement, pupillary reflexes, and if there are conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

Other tests may be performed if the doctor suspects other conditions that underlie or can aggravate the condition, such as eyeball pressure checks. If based on the results of the tests conducted, it is known that there are problems with the eye's accommodation ability, usually, the ophthalmologist will prescribe glasses or contact lenses that suit you.

Most vision problems in children can still be cured, which is why it is important to detect them early by routinely checking the children. Permanent eye damage can occur if this condition is not treated properly.

Nearsighted care

There are several things you can do to treat farsightedness as will be explained below. Eyeglasses Glasses that are used to overcome farsightedness have lenses that are thicker than the middle or called a convex lens, which can focus accurately because the light beam will fall over the retina.

The severity of nearsightedness experienced will affect the thickness, weight, and curvature of the lens that must be used. As we get older, the eyepiece will become stiffer and may require stronger glasses.

Contact lens

Contact lenses can be used to treat farsightedness and have the same functions as glasses, but because they are light and invisible, some people prefer to use contact lenses compared to glasses. Consult with your ophthalmologist to find out the contact lenses that suit you, because contact lenses are available from a variety of materials and designs. Eye infections can occur if you do not maintain contact lens hygiene properly. Ask your doctor about how to use and store contact lenses that are good and right.


The most reliable operation to deal with farsightedness is laser surgery to increase the corneal arch so that the light can be more focused. Laser surgery has a smaller risk of damage and infection compared to traditional surgery because laser surgery does not use tools that enter the eye.

Patients who undergo laser surgery do not need to be hospitalized. This treatment usually takes about one hour. Patients who have undergone laser surgery must go back to the clinic or hospital.

The following are three main types of laser surgery that can overcome farsightedness:

  • Laser in situ keratectomies (LASIK). LASIK is an operation that uses a laser to change the shape of the cornea and is the most commonly used procedure.
  • Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK). LASEK uses a laser to get rid of a bit of corneal tissue and reposition it so that it changes the shape of the cornea.
  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). PRK also uses lasers to change the shape of the cornea but uses alcohol to loosen the surface of the cornea before finally being removed.
  • Conductive keratoplasty (CK). This action uses radio frequency to provide heat rays at several points around the results only temporarily.

Among the four types of operations mentioned above, LASIK is the type of operation that is most widely chosen because it has several advantages, namely the healing process which is relatively faster and the patient hardly feels pain. But LASIK can only be done if the cornea is thick enough to reduce the risk of side effects and complications such as loss of vision because LASIK has a more complicated procedure.

If the cornea is not thick enough to carry out LASIK surgery, the patient can perform a CRP or LASEK operation. But both operations require longer recovery time. Choice of CK actions can also be chosen, but patients can only feel the benefits in a short time.

Not all nearsighted patients can do laser surgery. Some conditions for patients who are not suitable for laser surgery include having other eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, a disease that affects the immune system such as rheumatoid arthritis or HIV, pregnancy or lactation, diabetes, and presbyopia due to the aging process.

Age factors can also influence the type of treatment that is appropriate to do. Vision in people under 21 years can still change and laser surgery should not be performed. For those of you over the age of 21, make sure that in the past two years, your eye lens has not changed much before undergoing laser surgery.

Consult your eye condition with your doctor before deciding to do laser surgery because even if it is rare, there is still a possibility of complications like the following.

  • Vision becomes reduced or lost because the cornea becomes too thin or called ectasia.
  • Microbial keratitis caused by infection of the cornea.
  • If the amount of tissue taken from the cornea of the eye is miscalculated, the vision can worsen.
  • A circle of light will be seen around a ray of light.
  • Eyes feel dry.

Nearsightedness Prevention

Nearsightedness cannot be prevented, but there are some things you can do to help protect your eyes and vision.

  • Check the eye condition regularly.
  • Eat complete nutritious food.
  • Use lighting or good lighting.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Protect the eyes from direct sunlight.
  • Using the right glasses.
  • Control chronic health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Recognize symptoms of eye disorders.

Complications of Nearsightedness

Farsightedness can cause several complications or problems such as the following.

  • Amblyopia or lazy eyes. This occurs due to squinting or other eye disorders, such as cataracts that cause one eye to become more dominant.
  • Strabismus or squint eyes. This occurs when the two eyes focus on different objects, caused by not aligning the position of the two eyes.
  • Safety barriers. If nearsightedness is not handled properly you should not drive the vehicle or operate heavy machinery for the safety of yourself and others.
  • Reduced quality of life. Nearsightedness may limit the routine that must be done and affect the quality of life.

Complications of farsightedness in adults are rare, while double vision or diplopia, excessive focus, lazy eyes, and squint eyes are more common in children who suffer from nearsightedness.
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