How Does Myopia Affect the Eye?

Do you have trouble clearly seeing a television screen or whiteboard in school? If you see close objects clearly, but those farther away appear blurry, then you may have myopia. Commonly known as nearsightedness, myopia is a very common type of refractive error. According to the American Optometric Association, myopia affects about 30 percent of the population in the United States. This condition often occurs when your cornea is too curved, or your eyeball is slightly too long. As a result, they don’t produce a clear image of objects from a distance. It’s not very clear why this happens. Experts believe that it’s caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that affect the eye’s normal development.


Understanding How the Eye Works

Light passes through the cornea and into the lens. As you may already know, the cornea is the transparent front part of your eye that works to refract or bend light. On the other hand, the lens is the nearly transparent structure sitting behind the cornea. It functions to focus light onto the retina. By changing shape, the lens operates to change the focal length of the eye. This way, it can focus on objects at varying distances.


Your cornea needs to be evenly curved, and your eye has to be at the right length to produce a clear image. If you have myopia, your cornea may be too curved, or your eye has grown too long. As a result, the light isn’t focused directly on your retina. In myopia, the focal point is before the retina, which leads to a blurry image sent to your brain.



Three Common Types of Myopia

There are a few types of myopia: simple, high, and pathological. Simple myopia occurs when an otherwise healthy eye is less than six diopters. A diopter is a unit of measurement of the lens’s optical power. Your eye doctor can quickly correct simple myopia with prescription eyewear.


Myopia doesn’t usually result in other eye issues. But the defect can get worse as you grow older. If you exceed six diopters, then you have high myopia. At this point, you are at an increased risk of developing eye diseases like retinal detachment, cataracts, and glaucoma.


If you are so nearsighted that the back of your eye starts to experience degenerative changes, then you have pathological myopia. In this case, the level of nearsightedness is so advanced that vision loss or other eye-related problems occur. If you have this type of myopia, corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses won’t fix your vision changes. Treatment will also not slow the elongation of your eye.



Myopia Control and Management

Fortunately, there are several treatment options to help you regain clear distance vision. The first choice for correcting the refractive error is usually the use of eyeglasses. Contact lenses are a better option for some people since they provide a broader field of view than glasses. Other options are orthokeratology and laser procedures to reshape the cornea. Your eye doctor may also recommend vision therapy if your condition is stress-related.


Have you been experiencing headaches and eyestrain apart from having difficulty seeing distant objects? Visit TMS Eyecare today for a thorough eye examination. We have clinics in Wichita and Arkansas City, Kansas. Call us now at (316) 669-4760, (316) 686- 7212, or (620) 442- 2577 for an appointment.