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Short-sightedness Short-sightedness


Short-sightedness, commonly known as myopia is a prevalent eye condition that makes patients unable to have a clear view of distant objects. However, they have no challenge with the nearer objects since they see them very clearly. This condition is usually treated with glasses, contact lenses, and laser eye surgery.

What is myopia?

Myopia is the term for describing short-sightedness or near-sightedness. It is the commonest condition of the eye affecting people of every age.

It usually occurs when the patient has a longer than average eyeball or too curved cornea and sometimes, a combination of the two factors. In patients with myopia, light focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on the retina. This is the reason the image sent to the brain when they look at a distant object is blurred.

Myopia can be classified as mild, moderate or severe or high myopia.

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Symptoms of myopia

Though myopia can develop at any stage of a person’s life, it mostly starts during childhood and adolescence. Its most common symptom is difficulty in seeing clear pictures of objects at a distance. This condition may become worse at night or in dusk-like conditions. However, their vision of near objects is excellent.

Myopia patients usually try to squint or screw up their eyes during the early stage of the condition. Ultimately the only solution is an optical correction which a patient becomes reliant on.

When people have uncorrected short-sightedness for a long time, they will have frequent headaches.

Contact us if you experience difficulty in seeing distant objects or you want to find out more about the treatment of myopia.

Causes of myopia

The most distinguishing factor affecting the development of myopia is age. The length of the eye tends to increase as the degree of myopia increases. This makes the condition worse during puberty since that is when growth is at its peak.

Aside from age, it is also influenced by the following:

  • Frequent close up reading on a paper, phones or computer (VDU) use.
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic factors

Treatment of myopia

There are two main classes for the treatment of myopia. They are:

  • Non-surgical treatments
  • Surgical treatments

Non-surgical treatments

Contact lenses and glasses (in the form of negative lenses) are useful in correcting myopia.

Another method of treatment for this condition is orthokeratology (Ortho K). This condition demands that a patient wears the rigid contact lenses overnight so that it can make the shape of the cornea to be flat. This flattening effect will reduce the general power of the eye, thereby reducing the degree of myopia. The impact of the alteration in shape induced by this contact lens will last between one to two days, if the patient intends the results to last longer; he will have to wear the lenses more regularly. This, however, is not a permanent correction.

This treatment method is suitable for treating mild and moderate myopia. Its primary mechanism of action is depriving the cornea of oxygen. With less oxygen, the tissues of the cornea will stress out and start swelling thereby causing a change in the shape.

Though the effect of this treatment is right on the short term, the long term effect is not yet known.

Surgical treatments

There are different surgical procedures for correcting myopia. However, a suitable one for individual patients is dependent on some factors. These factors include your age, the degree of myopia you have, the thickness of your cornea and the presence of other ocular conditions.

1. Laser eye surgery

This procedure uses lasers to change the shape of the cornea of the eye, thereby correcting the way light is focused on the eye. This is a popular procedure for permanent correction of vision. LASIK, LASEK, and blended vision are available at our clinic.

2. Lens implant surgery

This is done with the insertion of an implantable contact lens into the back of the cornea to correct the vision. This option is suitable for people whose condition make them unsuitable for laser eye surgery. It is also ideal for people with dry eye, and those with very high degrees of myopia.

3. Clear lens extraction

This is similar to cataract surgery. However, in this procedure, a clear crystalline lens (without cataract) will be removed and replaced with a multifocal lens. This option is more suitable for people above the age of 45.

Ensure you contact us if you have troubles seeing distant objects, or you want to discuss the treatment options for myopia.

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Book a consultation today

or call: 020 7183 3725

Frequently asked questions

Is high myopia hereditary?

Humans have genes that affect the development of the eye. They can also pass on myopia from parent to child. And according to experience, it is not difficult to see myopia run in families. However, the development of myopia is not solely dependent on genetics.

How can short-sightedness be corrected?

Short-sightedness can be corrected with treatments that cause light to rest on the retina instead of in front, which is the primary effect of the condition. This aim can be achieved through the use of glasses or contact lenses, laser eye surgery, permanent intro-ocular lenses, and clear lens extraction.

The specific treatment for you will be dependent on some factors, including your medical history. Ensure you discuss your concerns with your ophthalmologist.

Contact us for your treatment and concerns about short-sightedness.

Dr Amir Mani - Specialist refractive surgeon

One of the most experienced refractive surgeons in London

Dr Mani has performed more than 20,000 ophthalmic procedures, including LASIK, LASEK, PRK, Femto Cataract, RLE, Lens ICL and Phakic IOL Surgery

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