Myopia is a common refractive error, affecting about 42% of Americans between the ages of 12-54. If you or your child have trouble seeing objects in the distance, it's time to call Dr. Stephen Chase at Family Vision Care Center so that you can get a comprehensive eye exam. Myopia progressively worsens during childhood and adolescence, making it essential to get regular exams to monitor the changes. To schedule an examination, call the office in Torrance, California, or book an appointment online.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when you have a hard time seeing distant objects, but your vision is great for close-up tasks, such as reading. It’s a refractive vision error, which means your eye doesn’t bend light properly. As a result, light isn’t focused directly on the center of your retina where it needs to be for clear vision.
Myopia usually begins in childhood, but young children may not realize there’s anything wrong with their vision, or they may not be able to communicate the problem. They may, however, develop other symptoms, such as:
Myopia develops from two primary causes:
To have clear vision, your cornea must be perfectly round so it bends light to focus on the lens. Then your lens must bend light so that it hits the center of your retina. Myopia develops when the cornea’s curve is too steep, or the lens is too thick, and light focuses in front of the retina.
Properly focused light won’t reach the retina if your eyeball is too long from front to back. When this happens, light focuses somewhere in front of the retina rather than directly on its surface.
Dr. Chase diagnoses myopia with a comprehensive eye exam, which includes standard vision testing and a dilated eye exam that helps him examine your optic nerve and retina.
A comprehensive exam is important because eyes continue to elongate throughout adolescence, and sometimes keep growing into your adult years.
Ongoing eyeball growth worsens the myopia. Children and teens with moderate to high myopia have an increased risk of developing serious eye problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma, at an earlier age than normal.
Myopia is corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses, but Dr. Chase may recommend other ways to slow its progression, such as:
Ortho-k and multifocal soft contact lenses are especially promising methods for slowing the progression of myopia in children, but they may also help adults see clearly without glasses.
If you have myopia, or suspect your child may have problems with vision, call Family Vision Care Center, or book an appointment online.