Nearsightedness – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Nearsightedness or myopia is one of the common vision problems. In the case of nearsightedness, sufferers can see objects up close clearly, while objects at a distance become blurry.

Eye minus another designation of myopia is a refractive error in the eye which is increasingly increasing in prevalence today. One study showed the prevalence of myopia increased by %25 in the population aged 12-54 years in the 1970s, and now increased to %42.

Causes of Nearsightedness

Until now the exact cause is still unknown, many eye doctors feel that the habit of working at a computer and looking too closely for a period of time can cause myopia.

In addition, there are several conditions that can be suspected to cause nearsightedness, such as allergies, endocrine disorders, lack of food, heredity, lack of chemicals (lack of calcium, lack of vitamins).

Meanwhile, there is another theory which states that as a person’s height increases, the size of the eye cavity also extends, then the eyeball will adjust to elongate, so that the focus of light occurs in front of the retina, not the surface of the retina.

Symptoms of Nearsightedness

If someone suffers from myopia, it will be difficult to read distant letters, such as difficulty reading street names when viewed from inside a car, or difficulty seeing distant objects clearly. In addition, the habit of squinting to see distant objects so that they appear more clearly can also be a sign of nearsightedness.

If you already wear minus glasses but still feel these symptoms, then you should consult a doctor to get the right prescription.

Myopia usually starts at a young age, and a person has a higher risk if his parents also have a history of myopia. In many cases, nearsightedness can heal itself in early adulthood but sometimes the minus eye continues to grow with age. In parents, myopia sometimes occurs as a process of aging.

Treating nearsightedness

Farsightedness can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. It all depends on the degree of myopia, there are those who only wear glasses or contact lenses all the time or only wear glasses when clear vision is needed, such as when driving, looking at a blackboard or watching a movie.

The following are some methods that can be used to treat nearsightedness:

1. Refractive surgery

This method can reduce or even eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. The most common procedure is done with a laser.

2. Laser

Lasers can remove corneal tissue layers, which flatten the cornea and allow light rays to focus more accurately on the retina.


The most frequent treatment for this refractive procedure is to make a thin flap on the surface of the cornea, then the laser removes some corneal tissue, and the flap is returned to its original position.

4. Orthokeratology

This is a non-surgical procedure in which you use a contact lens from a special permeable rigid gas (RGP or GP) at night to reshape the cornea while you sleep. When contact lenses are removed in the morning, the cornea temporarily maintains a new shape, so you can see clearly during the day without glasses or contact lenses. Orthokeratology combined with a GP contact lens procedure called corneal refraction therapy (CRT) has been shown to be effective in temporarily correcting mild myopia (minus 0.25-2) (minus 2-4).

5. Implant lenses

These known as phakic IOLs are another surgical option for correcting nearsightedness, especially for individuals with severe myopia (above minus 6) or thinner than normal corneas which can increase the risk of complications from LASIK or other laser vision correction procedures.

Phakic IOLs work like contact lenses, but because these implant lenses are placed in the eye through surgery, they are usually permanent, which means no maintenance is needed. Unlike lens implants used in cataract operations, phakic IOLs in myopia surgery do not replace the natural lens of the eye. The natural lens of the eye is still intact in the eye.

Prevention of Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness is an eye disorder that is not prevented, but there are several ways you can do to slow down its development, including:

  • Use more sunglasses that block ultraviolet radiation.
  • When working at a computer, set a break every few minutes. Don’t force your eyes to continue working.
  • If you suddenly experience visual disturbances, such as blurred eyes, see flashing lights, dark spots, or halos around the view. This might indicate a serious disease condition. See your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
  • Certain conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can affect vision. Therefore you should regularly check the overall eye health condition.

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