What is Myopia?
Do you find it difficult to focus on distant objects while the ones close by appearing as clear as day? If yes, then you might have to get your eyes checked for nearsightedness or shortsightedness, also known as myopia. It is a refractive error when your eyes are unable to bend light accurately, thus causing distant images or objects to appear blurry or out of focus.
Myopia is a common condition that can get fixed either with glasses, contact lenses, or eye surgery. It either develops gradually or quickly, magnifying, especially during childhood and adolescence. To make sure you have myopia or not, an elementary eye exam prescribed by the doctor will do the trick.
Today, most people prefer to do away with glasses or contact lenses and opt for refractive eye surgery to correct eye conditions like myopia. Therefore, a brief understanding of this refractive error and its causes, symptoms, and treatment can go a long way in helping you decide if it is for you or not.
What Are Different Types of Myopia?
While myopia can get cured, its development and aggravation depend on the causes. Family history is one of the main factors that tend to cause nearsightedness. However, this tendency aggravates by how a person uses his or her eyes. If you spend a considerable amount of time in front of the screen, reading e-books, or other intense visual work, the chances of you developing myopia increase. However, it does not end at this.
The dependency on other aspects and how they affect your eyes can help the doctors understand the type of myopia that’s affected you and help find its treatment. There are two very distinct types of myopia or nearsightedness. They are:
- High Myopia – Usually, if you have mild symptoms of myopia, the doctors categorize it as low myopia. However, if the symptoms are severe, it gets termed as high myopia. In the latter, your eyeballs grow sizeably than usual and tend to become very long from front to back. The downside of this condition is that it could affect your chances of seeing things clearly from a distance and also developing other eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, or detached retina.
Mostly, high myopia stabilizes between the ages of 20 to 30 years. However, the condition of every individual’s eyes differs, which is why consulting a qualified ophthalmologist helps gauge the extent of eye damage and get immediate treatment.
- Degenerative Myopia – This type of myopia is rare and usually inherited from the parents. It goes by other names, such as pathological myopia and malignant myopia. In the case of degenerative myopia, your eyeballs elongate rapidly, thus causing severe myopia. It usually affects teenagers or young adults and can worsen during adulthood. While making it hard to focus on things from a distance, the drawback of degenerative myopia is that it increases your chances of getting a detached retina, abnormal growth of blood vessels in your eyes (also known as choroid neovascularization), and even glaucoma.
What Are Symptoms of Myopia?
Difficulty reading signs while driving, watching a movie, or what’s written on the blackboard is the indication that you may have myopia. As you already know, it usually develops during childhood but can aggravate as you grow into adulthood. Visual stress or health conditions like diabetes may lead to myopia. However, identifying its symptoms can get you the help you need at an early stage. So, let’s take a look at the several symptoms of myopia.
- Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
- Squinting when watching TV or reading the board
- Having the need to sit close to the TV or computer screen
- The need to sit at the front of the classroom to clearly see the board
- Holding books close to your eyes
- Blinking excessively or rubbing your eyes frequently
- Reduced clarity of vision as compared to others
- Headaches due to strain on the eyes
What Are Causes of Myopia?
The cornea and the lens are two vital parts of your eye that focus on images. In the case of commonly shaped eyes, both the cornea and the lens have a smooth curvature allowing the light to bend accurately to make a sharply focused image at the back of your eye, on the retina. When there’s a refractive error, the refraction of light onto your retina does not occur aptly, thus causing nearsightedness and other refractive errors.
There might be other risk factors associated with myopia, and they include:
- Genetics – Myopia or nearsightedness tends to run in the family. If both or one of your parents gets affected by it, the likelihood of you developing myopia cannot get discounted. The risk is higher if both parents have myopia.
- Environmental Conditions – Staying indoors, in front of your screens, rather than being outdoors, can increase your chances of developing myopia, according to some studies and researches.
What Are Treatments for Myopia?
The treatment for myopia gets determined after an elementary eye exam that includes a refraction assessment and an eye health test. The former determines the type of vision problem, while the latter helps the doctor understand the extent of eye damage caused by the eye condition.
The primary treatment approach for myopia is to help correct your vision with the use of corrective lenses or refractive surgery. Apart from treatment, regular monitoring of your eyes to make sure no other condition has developed over time also gets taken into account.
So, what are the different treatment options for myopia? Let’s take a look.
- Prescription Lenses – Wearing corrective lenses helps correct the curvature of your cornea, thus helping treat myopia. The two types of prescription lenses include eyeglasses and contact lenses. Depending on what suits your eyes the best, your doctor will suggest either of these two options. If you’re pressed for time or do not want to opt for surgery just yet, this is your best bet.
- Refractive Surgery – If you wish to get surgery for your nearsightedness, it is an option. Your ophthalmologist will use a laser beam to reshape the cornea, thus resulting in a decreased nearsighted prescription. There are three different types of refractive eye surgeries that help with the treatment of myopia.
- Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) – LASIK eye surgery often offers improved vision without the hassle of wearing glasses or contact lenses. In general, there’s an excellent chance of achieving 20/25 vision or better after this refractive surgery. In this procedure, a programmed laser helps reshape those damaged parts of your cornea. However, with each pulse of the laser beam, a small amount of the corneal tissue gets removed.
- Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy (LASEK) – Another form of laser eye surgery, PRK/LASEK, involves separating the epithelial part of the cornea from the stroma. People with thin corneas, dry eyes, or corneal scarring can opt for PRK/LASEK eye surgery.
- ReLEx SMILE – ReLEx SMILE eye surgery is the newest advancement in laser eye surgery and involves the use of a femtosecond laser to make a disc-shaped cut inside the stroma. This procedure is less invasive and requires the use of only one laser as opposed to LASIK.
Does It Get Better Over Time?
Controlling myopia at an early stage, on-time or early detection, a proper diagnosis, and the best possible treatment can help nearsightedness to either disappear or get better over time. Since myopia develops during childhood, the eyes keep changing until your teenage years or your young adult years. Therefore, get your eyes checked annually, and adequate treatment can help curb its aggravation.
Topical treatments like eye drops, refractive surgery, or the use of eyeglasses and contact lenses can considerably reduce the refractive error and help you see things clearly from a distance.
What is Treatment Cost for Myopia?
Treatment cost for any eye surgery depends on several factors. While the expertise of your doctor is paramount, other considerations are technology-used, the type of treatment, the extent of treatment, the type of surgery required, and many more. Many centers across India have varying costs depending on the city, the doctors, and the use of technology.
On average, the treatment cost for myopia can vary from 20,000 INR to 1,00,00 INR. Another variant that needs consideration is if you’re getting treated on one eye or both eyes. The hospital or eye clinic then takes a call on the cost of the treatment along with its duration.
In conclusion, myopia is an eye condition that can get cured. However, to stop its amplification, its early detection and treatment deem paramount. To make that happen, you need to identify its symptoms and consult an ophthalmologist regularly to get the necessary treatment. LASIK, PRK/LASEK, and ReLEx SMILE refractive eye surgeries help correct vision problems like myopia and can potentially reduce the need and dependency on corrective eyewear – eyeglasses and contact lenses.
So, if you wish to get treatment for myopia or other eye conditions, you must find a qualified doctor that offers advanced technology options for treatment. Whether it’s LASIK eye surgery or other surgical treatments for your eyes, the doctors at Dada Laser Eye Institute share their expertise with the best eye care services for people from all over the country. To book an appointment with the expert ophthalmologists at Dada Laser Eye Institute, Pune, you can give us a call at (+91) 992 299 5549 or visit our website for further information.