Myopia, or short-sightedness, is an eye condition where faraway objects are blurry, but near objects are clear. In a myopic eye, the image is focused in front of the retina. To focus the image on to the retina, a minus spectacle lens or contact lens must be placed in front of the eye. This will allow the spectacle wearer to see distance clearly, however, it may place more pressure on the focusing and eye coordination system when viewing near objects through the lens.
What Causes Short Sightedness?
Short sightedness has several causes. It certainly may be hereditary, especially for the big prescriptions, and often the size of the eyeball itself is slightly longer than average. Race most definitely may play a role, with Chinese being far more likely to go short sighted than Caucasians. Diet may also be involved, and recent studies are suggesting that being outside in the sunshine may reduce short sightedness progression.
Far and away the biggest cause of short sightedness is the amount of near work we do. This is why bookworms and computer geeks traditionally are show wearing glasses. If you do a lot of close work, like reading, computers, sewing, etc., then your visual system can change and become set up for near rather than distance, foregoing distance vision in favour of having comfortable near vision.
We have seen a huge rise in short sightedness in recent years, and I believe it is mainly due to the increase in the amount of near work children are doing, especially since the rise of Ipads, smart phones, PSPs and Nintendo DSs.
The Bad News…
If treated in a conventional way, myopia tends to increase in power, and over several visits to the regular Optometrist you will notice your child’s glasses growing thicker and thicker, and your child becoming increasingly dependent on them!
The Good News…
At Eye CU Optometrist, Dr Darin Browne is treating short sightedness in new and innovative ways, and having great success in stopping the progression of the short sight (even in the children of high myopes!). New and radical techniques including bifocal spectacles and multifocal contact lenses can decrease or even stop the progression of this condition, and he has just published a book of innovative and powerful exercises you can do at home to stop and sometimes even reverse the effects of short sightedness!