In the medical word, nearsightedness is called myopia. Now, it is the most common eye problem around the globe. It makes people see objects clearly only when they are near. The typical symptom is blurry vision. Understanding Nearsightedness allows one to do preventive measures against legal blindness.
This eye disorder may be the most ignored world health issue. It slipped past medical eyes and rose as the seventh leading cause of legal blindness, and even higher in Asian countries like Hong Kong. With its less effective available treatment options over the past years, it has become one of the leading middle year crises today.
Alarmingly, growing number of children suffer this disease. There is about over a third of children with normal vision that regressed during school years. Worst, many of these victims become legally blind without intervention. There is a significant number of cases in highly literate Asian countries with about 90 college student population affected.
Ironically, this condition can be easily corrected. Two things may have occurred in any myopia cases, an eyeball that has elongated or cornea that has over curvature. With either case, when the light enters the eye, it falls short before reaching the light sensitive retina. Correcting the curvature of the cornea or re shape of the eyeball could be the solution to get the light stimuli on the retina.
The most important and yet simplest form of exam to check the vision is the vision test. In this test, a standardized chart is used. The patient is asked to read the letters on the chart twenty feet away from him. It reveals the distance where the letters can be read effortlessly. To illustrate, if a patient standing 20 feet away can read with ease up to the point where the letters are normally read without strain as far as 80 feet, his vision is measured as 20/80.
The common treatment for myopia is a set of prescription glasses. This aids light focus to the retina. The downside of this is that it may cause dependence and may even aggravate the myopia. This is why people who wear graded glasses need to adjust to higher lens requirements along the years. It can be avoided by submitting to a surgical procedure.
The most prescribed treatments for myopia are laser assisted in situ keratomileusis, photorefractive keratectomy, and corneal rings. In Photorefractive keratectomy or PRK, a laser is used to strip corneal tissues. Once the curvature is corrected, light rays that enter the eye may then be focused on the retina.
Another surgical procedure is the Laser assisted in situ keratomileusis or Lasik. It uses a laser to cut a flap on top of the cornea and remove some of the bottom tissues. After achieving the desired shape, the flap is restored. This is the most common surgical practice for treatment of myopia.
A gentler option is the plastic corneal rings because it does not remove any corneal tissues in reshaping the curvature of the cornea. This is effective for mild myopia cases. Here, an implant is placed under the edge of the cornea. To attain the right curvature, more ultra thin rings are implanted. This implant can be replaced or removed safely, or can be left in place during the patient s lifetime.
Confidence in taking step for improvement can result through understanding nearsightedness. Since myopia can be prevented or cured, knowing the options help in making right decision regarding treatment. It also helps in creating preventive measure to stop the incidence of myopia in children and young adults.
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