The medical name for short sight is myopia. Eyesight problems, like myopia, are also known as Refractive Errors. Short sight leads to blurred distance vision, whereas close vision is usually normal. Short-Sightedness is a very common problem but it can be corrected by glasses or contact lenses, or cured with laser eye surgery.
What is a Refractive Error?
A Refractive Error is an eyesight problem. Refractive errors are a common reason for a reduced level of eyesight or vision. Eye Refraction refers to the bending of light, in this case by the eye, to focus it. A refractive error means that the eye cannot focus light on the retina properly. This normally occurs either due to abnormalities in the shape of the eyeball or due to age factor.
There are Four Types of Refractive Errors:
1. Short Sight (Myopia).
2. Long Sight (Hypermetropia).
3. Age-related Long Sight (Presbyopia).
4. Astigmatism (a refractive error due to an unevenly curved cornea).
What is short-Sightedness (Myopia)?
Short Sightedness occurs when light coming from distant objects is ‘overfocused’ so that the point of focus is in front of the retina. It occurs because either the eyeball is enlarged, or because the cornea is too curved. Despite maximum efforts, the eye is not able to focus the light rays further back and on to the retina. The light coming from near objects requires a stronger focusing, so in myopia light from near objects is more likely to be focused in the right place. Short sight means exactly what the terms suggest. People with short sight are not able to see distant or far away objects. This happens when looking at near objects, the light rays come into the eye going slightly outwards. These will focus further back in the eye than light rays that come in straight from distant objects.
What Causes Short Sightedness (Myopia)?
Short sight tends to happen in children and young teenagers due to improper lifestyle. It often runs in families. Temporary short-sightedness also occurs as a side-effect of long illness like diabetes.
What Are The Symptoms of Short Sightedness (Myopia)?
The main symptom is difficulty in the view of distant objects. If short-sightedness starts at an early age, the more severe it is likely to become, by the time early adulthood is reached. Some children do not realize that their vision is not clear. They may be able to read books, but seeing distant objects such as the blackboard at school may become difficult. They may think of this vision error as normal and not tell anyone. This may affect the schoolwork if not treated timely.
Children usually have a routine preschool or school-entry vision check. Your child’s teacher may notice that children are having difficulties in class reading the board. If you suspect your child has problems with his or her sight, you should arrange for an eyesight test with an optician who is happy to assess children. For young children and toddlers, your General Physician may be able to make arrangements for a sight test. Sight tests are free for children.
What is The Treatment For Short Sightedness (myopia)?
The simplest and safest way to correct short sight is with glasses. Concave prescription lenses (called minus lenses) are used to correct Myopia. As a result, the light rays focus further back in the eye on the retina of the eye. There is a wide choice of glasses and frames available in the local and online markets, to suit all budgets, younger people may even regard them as a fashion accessory.
Contact Lenses do the same job as glasses but they are placed right on the surface of the eye. Many different types of contact lenses are available. Lenses may be soft or rigid gas-permeable. These lenses can be daily disposable, extended-wear, monthly disposable, or non-disposable. Your optician can advise which type is most suitable for your eyes and your prescription. Contact lenses tend to be more expensive and fashionable than glasses. They require more care and meticulous hygiene. They are safer for older teenagers and adults, rather than very young children.
Laser eye surgery is also an option for some people with short-sightedness. Laser eye surgery is expensive but it offers the chance to restore normal sight permanently. The procedure is generally painless. A complete and permanent resolution of the refractive error is possible in most of the patients, but some may have a significant improvement even though perfect vision is not achieved and glasses or contact lenses may still be needed.
Nowadays many private companies advertise laser eye surgery. But, before rushing on this type of treatment you should do some research. You only have only one pair of eyes and you need to find the best treatment for yourself. Though this may not be the cheapest option. But, you should try to go with personal recommendations, preferably a recommendation by an eye surgeon (ophthalmologist). You must know the facts, like – the failure rate, the risk of complications, the level of aftercare and what the procedure involves, before submitting yourself to an irreversible, costly treatment.