Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is a common condition that affects about 30 percent of the U.S. population. There is no definite cause of myopia. However, there are a few factors that researchers agree probably cause the condition.
The first factor is that the condition is hereditary. A child of two nearsighted parents is likely to become nearsighted as well. Another factor that could cause an individual to become nearsighted is visual stress. For example, someone who frequently reads or uses a computer could be more likely to develop myopia. Finally, one can become nearsighted as they age. This condition is known as macular degeneration, and it gradually occurs over time as people age, destroying their central vision.
Those affected by myopia can see up-close objects clearly, but far-away objects often appear blurry. For example, a child with myopia will be able to see the words of a book clearly, but will have difficulty seeing words on a distant chalk board. This occurs when the eye’s cornea is too curved, or when the eyeball is too long — these conditions cause light that enters the eye to not be focused correctly.
Treatment for myopia includes prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses. Laser eye surgery is another solution for those with myopia. With this procedure, the cornea’s shape is changed by removing a thin layer of surface tissue. Another treatment option is lasik eye surgery. This outpatient procedure removes tissue from the inner layers of the cornea with a laser, reshaping the eye.
Surgeries for Myopia
Learn more about the options for surgery below:
-Customized Trans-Epithelial Non-Contact Ablation (C-Ten)
The C-Ten procedure helps people with myopia and astigmatism. As the name implies, the procedure removes the regenerative surface of the eye without direct contact. There are little to none postoperative side effects and this treatment is considered the fastest laser treatment available.
A combination of LASIK and LASEK, Epi-LASIK utilizes a plastic, oscillating blade to cut an attached flap in the cornea’s outer layer (epithelium). Although alcohol is used to loosen the epithelium during LASEK, most surgeons avoid using alcohol for this procedure as it can cause undesirable reactions and can kill epithelial cells. This procedure is best suited for those with low myopia/less steep corneas, and can take anywhere from a few days to a few months for the final result to settle.
Used to reduce myopia, RK involves four to eight tiny incisions in the edge of the cornea, which allow the cornea to bulge and flatten. The flattening effect can continue after desired (though usually imperfect) vision is reached, resulting in overcorrection. This procedure is considered less predictable than most.
Resources on Myopia
- American Optometric Association Myopia FAQ’s
- National Library of Medicine Nearsightedness: Causes, Incidence and Risk Factors
- All About Vision Myopia: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
- National Institute of Health: Nearsightedness
- MedicineNet Introduction to Myopia
Resources on Surgery for Myopia