Common Eye Problems: Understanding Myopia

Vision changes are not always easy to recognize. When they happen slowly over time, you may not notice when it’s been increasingly difficult to read what’s on the board, or even when the signs on the highway are harder to make out. These changes naturally pose problems for anybody’s day-to-day, and that’s why understanding a little about myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, may help.

Defining Myopia

Myopia is one of the most common vision problems in the United States, affecting a little more than one third of the population. It’s a common refractive error that causes the distant objects you see to be blurry and everything close to you to be clear.

When light passes through your eye, it’s focused by the cornea and lens directly on the retina at the back of the eye. Your retina registers the focused light and presents the image to your brain. But sometimes, irregularities in your eyes cause the light to focus before it reaches your retinas, making distant objects appear blurry.

The causes of nearsightedness

Typically, myopic eyes are longer than normal and the focused light simply does not reach the retina. But when the lenses in your eyes are too thick, or your corneas are too steep, the light itself can be refracted at a slightly different angle and pull the focus point in front of your retinas.

Myopic eyes are most commonly inherited from family. But don’t blame Mom and Dad just yet! Your eyes are constantly changing as a result of age and your environment (amount of light exposure, long-term eyestrain, etc.), so you could develop nearsightedness even if it doesn’t run in your family.

Symptoms associated with nearsightedness

If you experience these symptoms on a regular basis, it may be time for your next eye exam:

 - Excessive blinking

 - Squinting

 - Frequent eye rubbing

 - Headaches

 - Fatigue

 - Difficulty seeing objects while driving


Treating your myopia for better vision

Nearsightedness can be frustrating, especially since it can affect so many parts of everyday life. But the good news is, treatment is usually very simple. A basic prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses from your eye doctor will change the way light enters your eyes, placing the focus point back directly onto your retinas.

But don’t be too surprised when you finally see things clearly. You may find yourself doing better at work, in school, during sports and with all of your hobbies.

If you’re uncertain about your vision or think you may be experiencing nearsightedness, then use your VSP Individual Vision Plan to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor today. If you don’t have vision insurance, find out how VSP can help you save on your next eye exam or pair of glasses.

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