Nearsightedness or myopia is a refractive error, which means that the eye does not bend or refract light properly to a single focus to see images clearly.
For people that suffer from myopia, close objects look clear but distant objects appear blurred. Nearsightedness is a very common condition that affects an estimated 25 percent of Americans. It is not an eye disease but rather it is an eye focusing disorder.
Often discovered in children between 8 and 12 years of age, myopia is inherited. Myopia may become worse during the teenage years when the body grows rapidly. There is usually little change in people between the ages of 20 and 40. Some adults can also get myopia.
High and low myopia
There are different stages of myopia. Low myopia is for mild cases. Severe myopia is known as high myopia. Cases of high myopia will usually stabilize between the ages of 20-30 years old. With high myopia, you can usually correct vision easily with glasses, contact lenses or in some cases refractive surgery.
If a patient has myopia they have a higher risk of developing a detached retina. The providers at Eye Care Associates can discuss the warning signs of retinal detachment with you if you are in this risk category. When discovered early enough a detached retina can usually be repaired with a surgical procedure.
Regular eye examinations by an ophthalmologist are an important step in watching for changes in the retina that might lead to retinal detachment.