Eye Exams - Eye Conditions

Myopia causes blurred vision.
 The most common problem for those who are shortsighted is difficulty seeing distant
 objects clearly. Some myopic children have never had clear distance vision and so 
are not aware of what they are missing. School vision screening will often detect
 myopia. Frowning and screwing up the eyes in an effort to see better is common and
 this may cause headaches. Short sighted children will sometimes hold reading
 material quite close. In their mid to late forties most people with perfect distance
 vision need reading spectacles, however many people with myopia can see close work
 clearly without them.

What causes myopia?

Myopia like other refractive errors, tends to be inherited but in no easily predictable
way. The reason for this is that many different parts of the eye influence vision and it 
is not possible to say which of these are involved in any individual case. Eyes 
become myopic if the lens system of the eye is too strong for its length, or as is more 
often the case, the eye is too long for its optical power. This means most myopic eyes 
are healthy eyes which happen to be larger then normal.

Does myopia change?

Since the size of the eyeball is the main factor in governing focus, and as the eyeball
 continues to grow until about age 25, it is easy to see how a short sighted child
 becomes more short sighted. Myopia cannot be prevented and will not go away. It 
usually increases during child hood and the teenage years to level off in the mid twenties. 
Eyes do not go blind as a result of normal myopia. Most increases in
 shortsightedness are normal growth related changes and happen regardless of factors
 such as the amount of close work done, rest, vitamins and exercises. Eyes with 
simple disorders such as myopia are capable of good vision and require no treatment
 apart from an optical correction.

Can vision be improved?

Spectacles or contact lenses do not strengthen or weaken vision in fully developed
 eyes (after about age five). They merely allow the wearer to see more clearly and
 comfortably and their use is not habit forming. (For some young children wearing 
spectacles is very important if vision is to develop normally.) In most myopic eyes
 vision can be improved with spectacles or contact lenses. Corrective lenses shift the
 point of focus of light entering the eye until it falls exactly on the back of the eye
(retina), giving clear vision.

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