Eye health: Debunking common myths about myopia

Eye health: Debunking common myths about myopia

Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is a vision condition in which close objects appear clear but objects farther away look blurry.

And no, it’s not because you didn’t have enough carrots as a child or you need to do better on taking vitamins. The condition occurs as a result of the shape of the eye — or the shape of certain parts of the eye — which causes light rays to bend or refract.

There aren’t any figures available locally, but globally it’s estimated that the refractive issue affects at least 25 per cent of the population.

Here a few misconceptions about the common vision condition debunked:

Myopia only develops in childhood: While cases are typically diagnosed in children, myopia can occur at any age. Some people are born with myopia while the condition progresses in others over time. The Mayo Clinic explained that nearsightedness happens when the eye is too long or oval-shaped rather than round. It may also occur when the curve of the cornea is too steep.

Myopia isn’t a serious condition: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the prevalence of myopia and high myopia are increasing globally at an alarming rate, with significant increases in the risks for vision impairment from more serious conditions associated with high myopia, including retinal damage, cataract and glaucoma.

Myopia can be cured: There’s no cure for myopia, however, treatment can slow its progression. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) noted that for children, there are alternative treatments to spectacles to prevent the eye from growing too long. These include the off-label use of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved atropine drops, multifocal contact lenses, MiSight contact lenses and orthokeratology.

With myopia, proper management is key. Regular checkups, wearing corrective lenses and prescription contact lenses can help you see clearly, but left untreated can significantly increase the risk of many serious eye conditions.

Should current trends hold, it’s expected that about half of the world’s population will develop the condition by 2050, in part because of genetics and spending more time on digital screens.

  • PublishedMay 21, 2024

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