According to WHO researches on Opthalmology Magazine show that by 2050, about 50% (nearly 5 billion) people in the world will be nearsighted. A surprising number!
Myopia (nearsightedness) is an eye disorder when the distance between the cornea and the retina is too long, so the light rays focus in front of the retina instead of on it. If you get myopia, close objects will look clear while distance objects will appear blurred to you. In this situation, you must squint your eyes to see them clearly. Commonly, myopia does not affect on your health, but it causes many difficulties in your studying, working and daily activities.
1. What is the cause?
There are several causes of myopia. You can either inherit myopia from your parents or contract one under a few circumstances such as activating your eyes too long under a low light condition or not resting your eyes properly.
In details, Myopia can be caused by following reasons:
- Studying, working, reading books and newspapers frequently
- Looking at nearby objects as a habit.
- Heredity (Babies who was born less than 2 weeks old or with low birth weight are at high risk of nearsightedness).
- Unusual eye characteristics: structure of the eyeball, weak sclera or underdeveloped eyelashes also cause unstable eyeball and poor ability of adjustment of the eye, leading to higher risk of myopia.
- Lack of sleep, too little sleep is also prone to myopia early on.
- Spending too much time on watching TV, computer screen, playing online games…
2. How about the symptom?
You can easily know when you are myopic by these common symptoms:
- Blurred vision to far objects
- Must squint to see clearly
- Headache due to eye strain
- Difficult to see while driving, especially at night
- Excessive blinking;
- Rub the eyes often (for children)
- Habit to sit near screen (TV, Computer), sit on the first table of the class;
- Rub your eyes often.
Noticeably, myopia occurs commonly in school-age children. This is because their eyes continue to develop until about age 20 and due to the poor condition of light in which they are using their eyes. However, adults can also get myopia as a result of constantly visual stress and diabetes. The blood sugar level in people with diabetes also can contribute to the amount of myopia.
If you are having one of the above symptoms, I am pretty sure that you are most likely to have myopia and I highly recommend of visiting the nearest eye clinic for a check-up. However, the degree of myopia can be reduced if it is diagnosed at its early stage and applied proper treatments.
3. Types of myopia
Studies show that myopia could be divided into some types: Simple myopia, pseudo-myopia, degenerative myopia and Nocturnal myopia. Each type has different intense levels
Visual acuity decreases when viewing far but in close distance, visual acuity become normal. This type of myopia was due to the loss of symmetry between the optical power and the front axle thickness after the eyeball. In almost cases, it is because the front axle after the eyeball is longer than the optical capacity that leads to Simple myopia. In some rare cases, it is because the capacity of the optical system is too high while the length of the eyeball axis is normal. Myopia is usually lower than -6.00D and usually cause no damage to the bottom of eyes. It is also accompanied by astigmatism in many cases.
In addition, each power of myopia corresponds to a certain range of vision, for example: with the power -1D corresponding to visual acuity 20/40; The power -2D will be corresponding to visual acuity 20/80, -3D has visual acuity 20/150 (*Higher diopter values are harder to calculate because it depends on the person, so these figures are an approximation) ...Those with mild myopia could read small-text books without glasses, to see distant objects they must squint their eyes.
This is the case when you see distant objects blurred after a long working process or during exam preparation; especially, when you try to wear glasses, you can see things better but it is probably because your eyes are overworked so you are temporarily obscured. If you do not let your eyes rest properly and moderately, there is high risk of turning Pseudo myopia into a real myopia.
Myopic degeneration, also known as pathological myopia, is a type of myopia that accompanied by degeneration in the posterior part of the eyeball. Myopic degeneration usually occurs early when a child is not yet in school and tend to have transference among people in a family. This myopia develops very quickly, causing the vision power to decline quickly. In particular, it can cause glaucoma or retinal detachment leading to blindness.
With this type, how much is myopia close to the highest? Most of the power is close to -7D, even high to -20D, -30D, causing damage to the bottom of the eye. And if you wear glasses, your vision is only about 20/200 or 20/400. Your level of visual impairment should refer to the Snellen visual acuity: 20/70 to 20/160 has moderate low vision; vision in the 20/200 to 20/400 range is considered severe low vision; from 20/500 to 20/1,000 is profound low vision; and less than 20/1,000 is near total blindness.
Phenomenon of night myopia (Nocturnal myopia) is a reduced vision at night or when the light is weak, but the vision become normal during the day. In low light condition, the pupil will adjust and expand to gain more light, resulting in the image being deformed when reaching the eye.
The causes of induced myopia (Acquired myopia) were:
- Nuclear sclerosis
- Side effects of some prescription drugs
- High blood sugar (mostly due to diabetes)
- Other causes
4. Severity of myopia
The severity of myopia is measured in diopters (D) preceded by a minus sign (–), which are the same units used to measure the optical power of eyeglasses and contact lenses. as follows:
- Mild myopia: -0.25 to -3.00 D
- Moderate myopia: -3.25 to -6.00 D
- High myopia: greater than -6.00 D
5. How to treat myopia naturally?
Like I mentioned above, Myopia can be fixed and avoidable if you know how and understand it well. However, as some people are myopic genetically like me, many technological, as well as conventional treatments, can be used for cure. Here are some of those methods I would like to share to you.
This is the most common and cheapest way to help you regain your clear vision. I am using it too. Although it might be not comfortable to wear those heavy glasses. However, the good news is that you don’t actually have to wear it all the time. You may only need to wear eyeglasses for certain activities depending on the level of myopia. Unless you have a very high severances of near-sightedness.
The eyeglasses has a cheap price; a pair of glasses only cost you a few bucks to buy. However, they are uncomfortable in some cases and it’s also the pain in the neck when you forget to bring them with you.
Wearing contact lenses
For some people, wearing eyeglasses for the first time can be a nightmare because it gives you a silly look on the face. So, how can we still be able to have a clear vision, but at the same time still look fashionable? This is when contact lenses come in handy.
This piece of extremely thin glass made of silicone hydrogel allows you to have a clearer and wider vision while at the same time you still remain your fine look. You simply put it on top of your eyes and slightly adjust it until you can see properly. You also may need to wear it a few times to become familiar with the lenses.
However, this method requires extra proper care since it can be harmful to your eyes when not used correctly. For example, forgetting to remove the lenses after using can result in serious damage to your eye health
Wearing eyeglasses or using contact lenses are two common natural ways of treating myopia. Depending on your style and need, you can choose one or both. Here are some features of both types, to help you make your suitable choice:
Doing laser procedure
Laser procedure or also called as "LASIK" is also another treatment choice for you. This is the most popular and common eyes correction surgery. This alternative can the power of vision back to your eyes up to 99%. And it is not only for near-sightedness but also for other cases such as farsightedness and astigmatism.
There are a few different types of LASIK including Wavefront Optimized LASIK, Wavefront-Guided LASIK, Topography-Guided LASIK, and All-Laser LASIK. Your eye doctor will decide which type of LASK is best compatible with your eyes.
However, like any surgery, this method still has risks and potential side effects or complications even though it’s completely safe and predictable. A few side effects can usually be seen after LASIK surgery such as:
+ Dry eyes, this is the most common side effect
+ Undercorrection or overcorrection: If the surgery process does not go as expected, you may have a small amount of near-sightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
+ Night vision problem: You might see a glare or halos around lights at night, or your night vision may be less effective than your vision during the day. But these symptoms tend to disappear once your eyes start to heal or a LASIK enhancement may be necessary for the problems.
I know now you are probably thinking a laser surgery sounds very painful – Quite the opposite- LASIK surgery is not only a safe and quick method but also the least painful way. Before the procedure, eye drops will help to numb your eyes and keep it comfortable. As the surgery only lasts about 15 minutes, you will probably feel some pressure briefly. And you can almost go home right after the surgery without waiting.
Pros of LASIK include:
+ Quick and safe
+ Satisfying result (99% completely corrected)
+ Can be see quickly
+ Least painful
However the Cons are:
+ Not cheap for everyone
+ Not everyone is eligible for a LASIK surgery
+ Side effects can occur
+ Need special care after surgery
Then, you should consider both advantages and disadvantages carefully before taking actual surgery.
This is a method that uses gas permeable contact lenses for a certain period of time (weeks to months). Wearing this type of glass helps flatten the central cornea for a while (after removing the contact lens). This helps adjust myopia. Moreover, several researches show the application of this type of glass to control the increasing myopia power in children.
Wearing Multifocal glasses
Multifocal eyeglass includes 2-lens glasses (bifocal) or progressive power glasses. These are the types of glasses used for presbyopia patients. When used for young patients with glasses, they help to reduce the effort to regulate near vision. Glasses commonly used on patients with near-sighted strabismus can reduce headaches and increase the visual effect of nearsightedness adjustment.
Doing some eye exercises
Eye exercise helps to improve the overall vision and especially it could treat the pseudo myopia naturally. You could combine following techniques
Step 1: Using two palms facing up on eyes, it also creates relaxation.
Step 2: Message the eyes area: This helps blood flow to the eye organs, which is also important if you try to imagine you have numbness in your legs or arms because the blood is not evenly circulated. Therefore, it leads to the numbness of the part and manifests as purple in that area. Simply you only need to use your fingers and message around your eye organs to let those organs work and blood can circulate. Note: do not apply directly to the eyes.
Step 3: Eyes with arm towels and cold towels: When you warm your eyes with a warm towel then switch to a cold towel, then the cold towel warms up, replace it with a warm towel, do this for some minutes.
Step 4: Improving vision power for the eyes: Use the standard word-board to look. Note that it’s necessary to have enough light, the height of the text just enough for the eye height. Look at a word not too long then switch to another word so that your eyes don’t get stressed by trying to look. Looking from near to far, when a distance has been reached, the table is moved away 30 cm. When you see a word about 5 m, your eyes are 20/20.
Step 5: Warm the eyes with the sun: You close the eyes towards the sun and think of your happy and unforgettable memories. Besides, combine tilt to left and right and turn around so that the eyes are also followed.
Extra exercise: long swing (keep your eye on your fingers, swing left and right), looking in to the distance, noticing the periphery, Sunning and Skying…You could read more detail in the book: Vision for Life, Revised Edition: Ten Steps to Natural Eyesight Improvement by Meir Schneider.
Applying Vision therapy
Last but not least, vision therapy is a set of customized activities designed by eye-doctors to improve eye skills such as movement control, eye coordinating, contrast sensitivity, etc. It is a doctor-supervised and non-surgical treatment. For anyone who has common visual problems like a lazy eye, crossed eyes or double vision, this option seems to fit perfectly.
This type of treatment is usually conducted in an office. Patients come to the clinic for once or twice per week to spend about 30 minutes to an hour for a session. In some cases, you will be given some supplement tasks at home. It depends on the type of case, the result of it can help you to develop or improve your basic visual skills and abilities.
In fact, vision therapy is not just a simple eye exercise. As people may think that the objective of Vision therapy is to enhance eye muscles. But that is not true. The eye muscles are very strong inherently. When you take a Vision Therapy program, it is important to know that the first step is you must go through a comprehensive vision examination so that vision care professional can decide whether you are suitable for the treatment.
Pros of Vision therapy are:
+ Effective, safe, cheap
+ Drug-free , No surgery involved
+ Can fix some common vision problem that you might think it's impossible to fix
However, Cons of Vision therapy are:
+ Need patience and effort
+ Required skilled optician and experience
6. Could we prevent it?
Yes, of course, prevention is better than cure. If you are not myopic as a result of heredity, there are some ways you should do to protect your eyes:
Eating healthy diet
Like any other parts of the body, eyes also need nutrition and vitamins. Having foods contain a lot of omega-3, lutein, vitamin C and vitamin E can benefit your eye health and avoid some vision problems. You can find those nutrients a lot in these types of food such as vegetables, tuna fish, salmon fish, eggs, beans, orange, lime, oyster and pork. Besides following a healthy diet can help you to avoid diabetes, one of the main cause of Myopia
Smoking not only causes lung cancer but also causes damage to the eye nerves and some other eye diseases such as cataract, macular degeneration. This can make you lose your vision permanently if you fail to properly care.
Wearing a sunnies
A pair of sunnies is good in sense of fashion. More important, it is a very effective way to protect your eyes from the sun and its UV rays.
Never look at a screen too long
A long hour working intensely on visual work can make you myopic. If your job requires you to work on the computer for long hours, follow these steps may help you to reduce the possibility of having Myopia.
Step 1: Try to avoid the dazzling light from the screen, use an anti-glare glass if necessary
Step 2: Keep winking your eyes when it feels dry
Step 3: Rest your eyes every 20 minutes and stare at a distance within 6m
Step 4: Leave your screen and take a walk every 2 hours for 15 minutes
Visiting eye clinic frequently
Having your eye check-up frequently can help to diagnose vision problems from its early stage and reduce the risk. If you are younger than 40-year-olds and your eyes have no problem, I suggest you should visit an eye doctor and get the tests every year. Older than 40 should check every 6 month or sooner depending on your eye condition.
Making it as your habit
This is very hard i know, but “no pain, no gain”, you should try to make the following rules frequently for the best improvement of myopia:
- When reading or doing tasks that require high visual effort in the near vision, take a break from your eyes every 45 minutes. When you need to rest, stand up and walk and look away.
- Reading distance should be appropriate. The ideal distance for reading is about 30 cm-40 cm (for child: 25 cm).
- When reading, there should be enough light. In addition to the light in the room, a table lamp is needed and the best lighting is from the back, rather than directly from the front to avoid reflections on our eyes.
- When reading a book or making your computer sit properly, keep your back straight and relaxed.
- For young children, limit the time to watch television and play video games.
- Sitting distance is equal to 7 times the width of the screen (about 2.5 m to 3 m).
- Taking part in outdoor activities, this helps to keep your vision and eyes relaxed.
- Use Eink device such as tablet, Dasung paper like computer screen, eink Yota phone instead of LCD screen.
- Examine the eye frequently.
7. Infographic: Everything you should know about Myopia
Let's see this inforgraphic to learn more about the near-sightedness in reality
In the article, you know about what Myopia is, its cause, symptom, prevention and how to treat nearsightedness naturally. The way of treatments (Eyeglasses, Contact lenses, Laser procedure or Vision therapy) depends on your severances and your styles. We also give the pros and cons of each method that support your chosen.
You can find out more article about Myopia on this website by using searching box. If you have any question, don’t forget to contact with us. We are here to help.