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The Low Down On Eye Health: Myopia

POSTED ON December 6, 2010

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What exactly is myopia or what most people know as nearsightedness?  I had heard of nearsightedness before as both of my parents wear eye glasses but I never quite grasped what it meant.  Nearsightedness (the medical term is myopia) is when near objects can be seen but far objects in the distance are blurry.  Opposite it seems to what the word sounds like or means, hence probably my confusion.  Here is the low down on myopia. The American Optometric Association (AOA) explains that nearsightedness ...

What exactly is myopia or what most people know as nearsightedness?  I had heard of nearsightedness before as both of my parents wear eye glasses but I never quite grasped what it meant.  Nearsightedness (the medical term is myopia) is when near objects can be seen but far objects in the distance are blurry.  Opposite it seems to what the word sounds like or means, hence probably my confusion.  Here is the low down on myopia.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) explains that nearsightedness occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature. Light coming to the eye isn’t able to focus correctly so objects far away become blurred.  Many cases of nearsightedness first occur in childhood but it can occur generally at any stage of life as it is thought to have a heredity connection as well as a connection to when eyes are visually stressed with too much close work.  Adults may develop it with the onset of diabetes or other health conditions.

Glasses and lenses or contact lenses can help address the problem of nearsightedness although full-time vision correction may not be required.  According to the AOA, 30% of the U.S. population is affected by myopia so eye doctors like Dr. Tavel and his board certified associates treat this eye impairment often.  To test for myopia a visual acuity test is completed where reading letters or numbers from a distance chart determines ability to see distances along with other visual tests included in an eye examination. 

If viewing distances becomes difficult and things look blurry or even seeing at night becomes challenging (“night” myopia according to the AOA) nearsightedness might be your problem. Visiting a vision eye center and getting an eye examination can determine if this is the case and you will know a bit more about this visual impairment as you have now read the low down on myopia!

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