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Why Myopia is Such a Big Problem

Aug 13, 2008
Myopia occurs in different degrees from minimal to extreme. The more myopic you are the blurrier your vision is at a distance and objects will have to be closer to you so you can see them clearly. Myopia up to 3.0 dioptres (D) is termed mild degree, 3.0 to 6.0D is moderate degree and high degree is 6.0D and over. A dioptre is a measurement of the focusing power of a lens. Myopia progression dropped from .25 diopters per year to .05 diopters per year on the average. Unfortunately, treatment with drops may be worse than the disease.

Myopia is best treated with eyeglasses and contact lenses which compensate for the elongated shape of the eye allowing the light to focus properly on the retina. As children (and their eyes) grow through the teen years, the condition typically worsens and then levels off in adulthood. Myopia or nearsightedness, a condition that results in the inability to see distant objects clearly, affects one in four Americans and is the most common eye disorder in the world with an enormous public health and economic impact.

Depending on epidemiologic definition, 3-19% of acquired blindness has been ascribed to myopia. Myopia was the most common cause of blindness in age group 50-59. In age group 60-69, it was second only to diabetic retinopathy, but was considerably more important than that disease in terms of years of blindness.

Myopia tends to run in families, so it is probably inherited. Myopia tends to start in the early teens (earlier for high myopes), and increases as the eye grows in length during puberty. Myopia can be easily diagnosed during a routine eye exam. Usually, a visual acuity test combined with a refraction assessment can not only identify nearsightedness, but can also determine the degree of myopia. Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. People with myopia see objects more clearly when they are close to the eye, while distant objects appear blurred or fuzzy.

Myopia usually occurs between the ages of 8 to 12 years. Since the eyes continue to grow during childhood, nearsightedness almost always occurs before the age of 20. Myopia is mainly caused by the eyeball being longer than normal from side to side. In this condition, distant objects appear blurred but near objects are clear.

Myopia is often observed in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). ROP is seen in 68 percent of infants with low birth weights and over 80 percent of infants born with ROP will be myopic.

Myopia is a common refractive error, which exists from a young age. A unilateral myopia, with or without amblyopia, might remain undiscovered for a long time. Myopia is a vision defect commonly known as nearsightedness . Those with myopia can see clearly up to a certain distance, then objects begin to appear fuzzy or out of focus. Myopia that first appears in middle age can indicate cataracts. If nearsightedness comes on suddenly and seems to change daily, it could be the result of uncontrolled diabetes.

Myopia is the most common eye problem. It affects as much as 40 percent of the population in the United States and Europe but between 70 and 90 percent of some Asian populations such as Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. Myopia develops during childhood. The child's eyeball grows too long, which interferes with the light-focusing mechanism.

So overall, you need to understand that myopia is a very common condition that affects nearly 30 percent of the U.S. It normally starts to appear between the ages of eight and 12 years old, and almost always before the age of 20.
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