What is Myopia
Myopia or nearsightedness, occurs when light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This is caused by a cornea that is steeper, or an eye that is longer, than a normal eye.
Those with myopia typically can see nearby objects clearly but distant objects appear blurred. The opposite defect of myopia is hyperopia or "farsightedness" or "longsightedness" — this is where the cornea is too flat or the eye is too short.
Myopia is often discovered in school-age children who report having trouble seeing the chalkboard. Myopia usually becomes progressively worse through adolescence and stabilizes in early adulthood.
Myopia is not inherited but is caused by excessive reading and other close work. It can be prevented.
Singapore is the first country in the world to publicly state that myopia is caused by prolonged close work.
Myopia is fairly common worldwide. Approximately 25% of the U.S. population is myopic to some degree, affecting men and women equally. There is greater prevalence of this disorder among children from higher socio-economic groups, although the reasons for this remain unclear. Incidence is much higher in certain Asian countries. Taiwan experiences the worlds highest rate. In some nations, such as Singapore, the incidence has rapidly increased over the past decade. In 1990, one in five grade school students there was diagnosed with myopia, and by 2000 that number had risen to one in three.
There are many types of myopia. Some common types include:
By far the most common form, physiologic myopia develops in children sometime between the ages of 5-10 years and gradually progresses until the eye is fully grown. Physiologic myopia may include refractive myopia (the cornea and lens-bending properties are too strong) and axial myopia (the eyeball is too long). Pathologic myopia is a far less common abnormality. This condition begins as physiologic myopia, but rather than stabilizing, the eye continues to enlarge at an abnormal rate (progressive myopia). This more advanced type of myopia may lead to degenerative changes in the eye (degenerative myopia). Acquired myopia occurs after infancy. This condition may be seen in association with uncontrolled diabetes and certain types of cataracts. Antihypertensive drugs and other medications can also affect the refractive power of the lens.
What are the symptoms
Typical symptoms of Myopia are: blurry distance vision and vision seems clearer when squinting. Myopic people often have headaches or eyestrain, and might squint or feel fatigued when driving or playing sports though this is not directly caused by myopia itself, but rather by a combination of astigmatism and myopia or simply because the person is straining to see clearly.
What are the causes
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface.
Myopia tends to be prevalent in people with occupations that demand
lots of prolonged near work.
Myopia affects those mostly between the ages of 10 and 40.
Beyond 45 years of age myopia tends to decrease.
With high myopia (-6.00 and up) one is at increased risk of glaucoma, retinal detachments and posterior vitreous detachments, so annual follow-up is recommended for those individuals.
Many studies have been done on the hereditary factor of Myopia. To discover if Myopia is a genetic disorder read thegenetic profile of myopia.
How is Myopia diagnosed
The diagnosis of myopia is typically made during the first several years of elementary school when a teacher notices a child having difficulty seeing the chalkboard, reading, or concentrating. The teacher or school nurse often recommends an eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
A patient's distance vision is tested by reading letters or numbers on a chart posted a set distance away (usually 20 ft). The doctor asks the patient to view images through a variety of lenses to obtain the best correction. The doctor also examines the inside of the eye and the retina. An instrument called a slit lamp is used to examine the cornea and lens. The eyeglass prescription is written in terms ofdiopters (D), which measure the degree ofrefractive error. Mild to moderate myopia usually falls between -1.00D and -6.00D. Normal vision is commonly referred to as 20/20 to describe the eye's focusing ability at a distance of 20 ft from an object. For example, 20/50 means that a myopic person must stand 20 ft away from an eye chart to see what a normal person can see at 50 ft. The larger the bottom number, the greater the myopia.
How can Myopia be treated
People with myopia have four main options: eyeglasses, contact lenses, for those who meet certain criteria, refractive eye surgery and Eyerobics.
Note that wearing eyeglasses and contact lenses do NOT address the cause of the problem but are merely an adjustment. Eye surgery has huge risks and can be very costly. Read on to find out what is the best option for you.
Eyeglasses are the most common method used to correct myopia. However wearing glasses makes your eyes lazy as the lenses do all the focusing your eye muscles normally do. This results in weaker eye muscles. As it is these muscles that cause clear sight it is very likely your eyesight will worsen over time. Ever noticed many people need to go back to the optometrist to get stronger prescriptions after they start wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Contact lenses are a second option but have the same effect as glasses: they do NOT improve the condition but merely are a band aid allowing you to see clearly until you need to get stronger prescriptions. This is very likely to happen as, similar to eyeglasses you are taking away the necessary exercise for your eye muscles to keep in shape.
A procedure called orthokeratology acts on this principle of "corneal molding." This is supposed to occur out of wearing lenses to shape the cornea into a more normal shape. However, when contact lenses are discontinued for a period of time, the cornea will generally go back to its original shape. In other words: another quick fix that does NOT address the underlying cause of the problem.
Refractive eye surgery
For people who find glasses and contact lenses inconvenient or uncomfortable, and who meet selection criteria regarding age, degree of myopia, general health, etc., refractive eye surgery is a third treatment alternative. There are three types of corrective surgeries available :
- radial keratotomy (RK)
- photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
- laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
Refractive eye surgery aims at improving myopic vision by permanently changing the shape of the cornea so that light rays focus properly on the retina. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and generally take 10-30 minutes. Eye surgery is risky and does not guarantee a complete recovery of clear sight.
Radial keratotomy (RK), the first of these procedures made available, has a high associated risk. It was first developed in Japan and the Soviet Union, and introduced into the United States in 1978. The surgeon uses a delicate diamond-tipped blade, a microscope, and microscopic instruments to make several spoke-like "radial" incisions in the non-viewing (peripheral) portion of the cornea. As the incisions heal, the slits alter the curve of the cornea, making it more flat, which may improve the focus of images onto the retina.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) involves the use of a computer to measure the shape of the cornea. Using these measurements, the surgeon applies a computer-controlled laser to make modifications to the cornea. The PRK procedure flattens the cornea by vaporizing small amounts of tissue from the cornea's surface. It is important to make sure the laser being used is FDA approved. Photorefractive keratectomy can be used to treat mild to moderate forms of myopia. The cost is approximately $2,000 per eye.
Laser-assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis - LASIK
Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is the newest of these procedures. It is recommended for moderate to severe cases of myopia. A variation on the PRK method, LASIK uses lasers and a cutting tool called a microkeratome to cut a circular flap on the cornea. The flap is flipped back to expose the inner layers of the cornea. The cornea is treated with a laser to change the shape and focusing properties, then the flap is replaced. Read more on this procedure, its costs and risks.
All of these surgical procedures carry risks, the most serious being
- corneal scarring
- corneal rupture
- loss of vision
Since refractive eye surgery does not guarantee 20/20 vision, it is important to have realistic expectations before choosing this treatment. Even if the patient gains near-perfect vision, however, there are potentially irritating side effects, such as postoperative pain, poor night vision, variation in visual acuity, light sensitivity and glare, and optical distortion. Refractive eye surgeries are considered elective procedures and are not always covered by insurance plans.
How can Eyerobics help
None of the above options of 'treating' Myopia actually address the cause of the problem, but are merely a fix so you can see clearly. Wearing glasses or contacts can actually worsen your vision over time and the risks of surgery are huge as you can read above. Also the costs are an additional factor. Eye surgery in itself is expensive, but think about the additional costs of other treatments due to side effects. Often people who have had surgery once are asked to return for a second or even third treatment. As you can understand this adds up.
Opting for glasses or contacts can be expensive initially and over a longer period as regular visits to the optometrists and the stronger prescriptions that one is very likely to need all add up to a significant amount.
Why not keep that money in your pocket and use the Eyerobics program to improve your vision naturally steering away from the risks of surgery and the annoyance of having to wear glasses or contacts. Myopia is one of the conditions that has been treated by Eyerobics very successfully.
".. .for many years I have been suffering from Myopia until I tried your program. Now after two weeks I have noticed such great improvements in my eyesight. I am now able to read road signs clearly and even better: I can see my wife when she is standing far away needing my attention!
Thank you for your eyesight improvement program. I am very happy with the results (and so is my wife!)."
Peter de Jager - Netherlands