Myopia is most commonly known as nearsightedness and it happens when the eye grows too much and becomes elongated. This causes refractive errors where light will focus in front of the retina instead of on it, causing images at a distance to be out of focus and blurry. Myopia is often diagnosed during childhood and it is becoming increasingly common. Along with the increase in myopia diagnoses is a rise in the spread of misinformation about the condition. These misunderstandings can be misleading at best or cause unsafe practices and physical harm at worst. Here are some common myths that need to be debunked and the reality of what myopia is and is not.
False: Taking Vitamins Can Stop Myopia.
True: Vitamins can help with some eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, but myopia is not one of them.
False: Myopia Only Affects Children.
True: Although it is most common to develop myopia in childhood, it can develop at any age and the effects of myopia last into adulthood.
False: Wearing Glasses Or Contacts Makes Myopia Worse.
True: Prescription contacts and glasses don’t make your vision worse, but they do correct it and let you see clearly. Straining your eyes to see won’t change the shape of them or somehow build muscle, so wear glasses to make vision more clear.
False: Pressing On Your Eyes Will Shorten The Eyeball And Help Correct Myopia
True: Pressing on your eyes, whether with your hands or with other heavy objects such as sand bags, will not correct the shape of your eyes. Doing this can actually be quite harmful to your eyes, as it puts pressure on the eyeballs and can damage their structure. You should try not to push on or rub your eyes in general.
False: Myopia can’t be slowed down.
True: There are several ways myopia can be slowed. Getting outside can help slow the progression of myopia, as certain levels of UV rays and sunlight are thought to aid in the health of your eyes. Taking breaks from screens is also important, as it gives your eyes a chance to rest and reduces strain. Orthokeratology is another option. This involves wearing specially, gas-permeable contacts to bed that reshape the cornea overnight. This technology is much different from pressing on the eyes, as it doesn’t create an inward press or put pressure on the eye. Instead, it gently reshapes the surface of the eye. Orthokeratology is not a cure for myopia, but it does help to lessen the effects.
False: Myopia Can Be Cured.
True: Myopia can be slowed down. Myopia is a refractive error caused by the eyeballs growing too long. Once this eye growth has started, it can be slowed but it can’t be stopped or reversed. Myopia can be corrected, but it is never cured.
Although there is no known cure for myopia, its effects on vision can be easily corrected with glasses or contacts. If you suspect that you have myopia, or if you have a family history of myopia, visit My Optometrist at our Calgary locations, Sunridge in the NE, Sundance in the SE, or Three Hills AB for a vision assessment. The experienced team can prescribe you or your child corrective glasses and can discuss your options for your vision health. The trusted staff at our Calgary eye clinic will be happy to answer any questions you have and address any concerns about myopic control or other refractive errors. To book an appointment, fill out the contact form and start seeing clearly.
Q: Does myopia worsen with age?
A: It can. Because myopia is the eye growing too long, it depends whether the eye keeps growing or if it stops. If the eye grows longer, the myopia gets worse.
Q: What risk factors cause myopia?
A: Genetics play a factor and nearsightedness tends to run in families. It has recently been proposed that not going outside enough is also linked to myopia. Although this is still being researched, getting outside, especially for children, benefits health overall and is encouraged.
Q: How do I know if my child has myopia?
A: You might notice your child getting quite close when they need to see something. The only way to know for sure is to take them for a vision assessment. You can schedule an eye exam with My Optometrist by filling out the contact form or by calling one of our locations, either in Sunridge in the NE, Sundance in the SE, or Three Hills AB.
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