Correcting “Nearsightedness” (or Myopia)

Nearsightedness, clinically called “myopia,” is a common vision problem that affects almost a third of the population. The term nearsightedness has become common in describing people with myopia because they are able to see nearby objects more clearly than distant objects.

Because nearsightedness can be a hindrance in daily life, many patients seek effective ways of correcting their myopia. Corrective lenses in the form of glasses and contacts are a common way of correcting nearsightedness.

Without the assistance of corrective lenses, people with myopia tend to have difficulty clearly seeing:

  • The faces of people across a room
  • Highway signs when driving
  • A screen at a movie theater
  • A chalkboard or presentations from the back of a room
  • Other distant objects

Nearsightedness is usually caused by an eye that is too long. The irregular shape of the eye causes incoming light rays to focus in front of the retina rather than directly on it. As a result, images of distant objects appear blurry.
Prescription eyewear is effective for correcting myopia because the corrective lens can refocus the incoming light and create clearer images. Unfortunately, glasses and contacts are not a permanent solution for correcting nearsightedness, since they only work when they are being worn.

Since glasses and contacts can easily be misplaced and cannot be worn during every moment of the day, many people with nearsightedness with or without astigmatism seek more advanced solutions for correcting their disorder. Refractive surgery has become a viable option for correcting these.

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