What is Myopia?
Myopia is known by other names like nearsightedness and shortsightedness. It is a condition that results in blurred vision. For example, if you can see objects nearby with no problem, but reading road signs or making out the writing on the board at school is more difficult, you have myopia. Myopia most often occurs because the eyeball is too long and light rays from a distant point are focused in front of the retina (the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye), forming a blurred image on the retina.
Traditionally, the way to refocus light on the back of the eye used eyeglasses with a concave lens. The problem with this method is that although straight ahead light rays focus on the retina properly, those light rays off to the side now focus behind the retina. This peripheral blur induces the eye to grow longer and more nearsighted.
This is especially problematic in children and teens as it can lead to: Progressive Myopia. This is a type of nearsightedness in which the correction to clear vision increases over time periods less than one year and in amounts greater than ½ diopter (or degree) of power.
What other Factors can Cause Progressive Myopia?
Until recently, the most common causes of progressive myopia have been thought to be:
- Excessive close up tasks such as reading, desk work, computer work and hand held technology.
- The genetic component of parents who themselves are nearsighted. One nearsighted parent can yield a 2 times risk for progressive myopia in their children. Two nearsighted parents increases this risk to 5 times.
- Patients who are of Asian descent.
Interested in learning more slowing progressive myopia in your child or just getting out of needing to wear glasses all day for yourself? You can call us at (847) 705-7777 to schedule a free consultation or eye exam appointment with Dr. Rob. We hope to see you in our office soon!