Near-sightedness is a name for a common eye or vision condition, wherein the objects near to you are clearly visible to you, whereas the objects at a distance are blurry. It is also known as myopia.

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Does Reading Cause Near-Sightedness?

Those who do a lot of reading, writing or too much computer work may be more exposed to the risk of getting near-sightedness. However, though reading contributes to some degree of increased chances of getting near-sightedness, the more solid reason is heredity and there is no need to cut short on reading.(1) It is essential though, that you give your eyes an ample resting time so that they are not overworked or fatigued.

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  • Refractive Error- If the cornea of your eye or the lens is not smoothly and evenly curved, the light rays are not able to refract properly. This leads to a refractive error.
  • When the eyeball of your eye is too long or the cornea of your eye is curved too steeply, it results in near-sightedness
  • The light should focus exactly on your retina. If instead of focusing exactly on the retina, the light focuses in front of your retina, because of the long shape of the eyeball or steep curve of the cornea. This leads to the refractive error and the objects at a distance appear blurry.(2)

What Is Worse, Near-Sighted Or Farsighted?

It cannot be said which of the two is worse compared to the other. Both near-sighted and farsighted conditions have their own causes, risk factors, symptoms, complications, and challenges. What might be an advantage for one person in one condition, might be a disadvantage in the other with the same condition. So, it is not wise to say which of these is worse.

Symptoms Of Near-Sightedness-

The symptoms of near-sightedness may include-

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  • A blurred distant vision
  • Squinting or partially closing the eyes to see clearly at a distance
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches due to the eyestrain
  • Difficulty while doing activities like driving a vehicle
  • Difficulty driving at night, also known as night myopia(2)

Symptoms In Children May Include-

  • A Persistent squint
  • A child trying to sit closer to a television screen or blackboard etc.
  • A child may blink excessively
  • A child may rub his or her eyes frequently(2)

Risk Factors For Near-Sightedness-

Certain factors may put you at an increased risk of getting near-sightedness. These may include-

Inheritance-

  • It is observed that near-sightedness runs in families
  • Those who have one parent with near-sightedness are at an increased risk of getting this condition than those whose parents do not have
  • If both parents have near-sightedness, then the risk is even more(2)

Close Visual Work-

  • Those who perform close visual work like reading, writing, computer work, playing on mobile games, etc. are at an increased risk of getting this condition
  • Holding the reading material very close to your eyes may also put you at an increased risk of getting this condition(2)

Environmental Factors-

  • Certain environmental factors like spending more time inside rather than outside may increase your risk of getting this condition
  • The reason exactly is not known, but researchers speculate that it may have something to do with sun’s rays(2)

Treatments To Slow The Progression Of Near-Sightedness

Some recent studies show that it may be possible to slow down the progression of myopia or near-sightedness during childhood or teenage years. The treatments used to achieve this may involve changing the structure of your eyes and also, the way that it focuses. The methods that may show promising results may include-

  • Use of atropine eye drops
  • Using multifocal eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Orthokeratology

Conclusion

Reading may put you at an increased risk of near-sightedness. However, it does not mean that you must stop reading. Measures can be taken to avoid near-sightedness.

References:  

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: June 20, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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