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Eye Medics Optometry

What is Myopia?

Vision care goes far beyond simply wearing glasses or contact lenses. Proper nutrition, visual hygiene and protection will provide you with the vision needed to perform optimally at your chosen tasks. The greatest thing we hope you will learn is that achieving optimal vision and performance can be accomplished without surgical intervention. To gain a better understanding of how all this works, let us start with the basics.

What is Nearsightedness?

Wikipedia describes nearsightedness (also called myopia) as “a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it, causing the image that one sees when looking at a distant object to be out of focus, but in focus when looking at a close object.”

Generally speaking, nearsightedness causes your distance vision to be blurred when you are not wearing corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses). An easy way to remember the difference between nearsightedness and farsightedness is to associate the term you hear with the visual condition. In other words, whichever term (farsighted/nearsighted) you hear, it is the one you can actually perform with ease. For example, “nearsighted” people can see close-up objects clearly, and  “Farsighted” people can see distant objects clearly.

How does Nearsightedness Occur?

Most people are not born with nearsightedness. The question then becomes why, or how, does nearsightedness occur? The answer to this question has been under great debate for many years. Only recently has our understanding of the causative factors of nearsightedness come to light. Much of what we have learned about the causation of myopia involves nutrition, genetics, and, more importantly, the environment.

Vision scientists, and eye doctors, widely agree that myopia (nearsightedness) is not caused by genetics alone. Environmental factors, such as the amount of time spent viewing close-up objects (reading, studying, video games, etc.) and time spent indoors, can heavily impact myopia development, especially in children.

The human body is unique in its ability to adapt to internal and external stress factors. But still, there is a limit to how much your body can adapt without incurring permanent changes. The eyes respond to their ever-changing environment and the varying visual stress levels presented. Once the stress is no longer present, the eyes can return to their baseline state of rest. However, when stress levels remain high over an extended period of time, protective mechanisms are activated. For the eyes, this means an increase in nearsightedness.

Okay, that’s enough for now. We just wanted you to start thinking about why changes (nearsightedness/myopia) occur within the visual system. Although myopia can cause harmful structural changes to the eyes, overall the reason these changes take place is to make sure you function within your environment –  serendipity.

We would love to hear your thoughts about this post. Thanks for reading!