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Myopia: Understanding Nearsightedness

Myopia, commonly referred to as nearsightedness, occurs when the cornea is too curved or the eyeball is too long, causing objects that are far away to appear blurry. At TLC Yonge Eglinton Laser Eye Centre® in Toronto, ON, we can provide a variety of surgical treatments to correct myopia including laser vision correction, intraocular lenses (IOLs), and implantable contact lenses (ICLs). Our surgeons work with the latest technology and operate under the highest standards for safe, effective myopia treatment.

Illustration of normal eye versus myopia

Myopia causes light to converge in front of the retina, which causes problems seeing objects at a distance.

What is Myopia?

Patients with myopia can see objects clearly up close, but have difficulty seeing things positioned further away, such as a television, movie screen, or school whiteboard. Because the cornea or eyeball is malformed, the light entering the eye is not focused correctly, resulting in blurred vision.

A thorough understanding of myopia is tremendously helpful in learning how to properly treat it.

Patients whose parents have myopia are more likely to inherit it themselves. Aside from heredity, however, the progression of myopia is somewhat dependent on how an individual uses his or her eyes.

Common Myths Surrounding Myopia

A thorough understanding of myopia is tremendously helpful in learning how to properly treat it. Unfortunately, several misconceptions have been formed around this condition over the years. Common myths regarding myopia include:

  • I can control whether or not I develop myopia based on how I use my eyes.
    • While the advancement of myopia can be affected by environment, there is a much more significant genetic factor.
  • Wearing glasses can make myopia worse.
    • Corrective eyewear actually improves myopia. If you experience eye strain or headaches while wearing glasses, you most likely need a different prescription.
  • Wearing glasses with a weaker prescription can help reduce or eliminate myopia.
    • In fact, the opposite is true. Wearing lower lens powers can actually lead to amblyopia, or the development of a lazy eye, which can worsen your existing myopia.
  • If you develop myopia as a child, it usually reverses as you age.
    • While the majority of patients develop myopia during childhood, it does not imply the condition will go away in adulthood. In fact, some patients will develop it as they age.
  • Special devices such as pinhole glasses can prevent the development of myopia.
    • There is no evidence that suggests that pinhole glasses can reverse or prevent myopia.
  • LASIK treatment can permanently reverse myopia.
    • LASIK is, in fact, a reliable method of controlling the effects of myopia. However, laser eye surgery cannot address the initial cause of nearsightedness, which is the shape of the eyeball. Therefore, while LASIK can reduce or eliminate your need for corrective eyewear for a time, the aging process may require you to wear glasses or contacts later on.

Signs and Symptoms of Myopia

Nearsightedness can interfere with your overall quality of life. Patients with myopia often experience:

  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue
  • Squinting
  • Headaches

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule an eye examination right away. If you are experiencing any of these while wearing corrective eyewear, it may be an indication that you need a stronger prescription.

Treatment Options

Patients with nearsightedness have several options for successful treatment. Myopia can be addressed with:

  • LASIK: The most common corrective vision procedure, LASIK utilizes laser technology to precisely reshape the cornea.
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK): Similar to LASIK, PRK also flattens the cornea but does so without the creation of a corneal flap.
  • Intraocular Lenses (IOLs): These clear, flexible lenses can be surgically implanted to improve vision, and are commonly used for patients with cataracts.
  • Implantable Contact Lenses (ICLs): Patients suffering from extreme myopia can achieve 20/20 vision with the use of surgically implanted contact lenses.
  • Corrective Eyewear: While surgery is the optimal choice for treating myopia, some patients find that glasses or contact lenses are the right solution for them.

Schedule a Consultation with Us

If you have difficulty seeing objects at a distance but can see things clearly up close, you may have myopia. Schedule a consultation with one of our doctors for a thorough examination. Advances in technology have made treatment for nearsightedness more simple and accessible than ever before. Call our office at (866) 684-2020 or contact us online anytime.