What Causes People To Become Near-Sighted & Can It Be Cured?

Near-sightedness or myopia is a condition in which people can see nearby objects clearly, but they find distant objects to be blurred.

What Causes People To Become Near-Sighted?

Usually, a refractive error is the cause of near-sightedness in people. This can be explained as follows-

  • The eye has two important parts that are used to focus on the images-the cornea and the lens.
  • The clear, dome-shaped surface at the front of your eye is the cornea
  • The clear structure about the size and shape of an M &M candy is called the lens
  • Apart from this, the shape and size of the eyeball also plays an important role in being near-sighted or farsighted
  • When your eye is normally shaped and sized, these focusing parts are perfectly smooth and evenly curved
  • This type of smooth and even curvature refracts or bends all the incoming light and forms a sharply focused image directly on your retina, which is at the back of your eye
  • When the cornea or lens is not smoothly and evenly curved, the light rays are not able to be refracted properly. This leads to a refractive error
  • When the eyeball is longer than what it should be normally and the cornea or lens are also curved too steeply, it leads to near-sightedness in people.

In such a case, the light is focused in front of the retina when it should focus exactly on the retina, and causes distant objects to look blur(1)

Can Near-Sightedness Be Cured?

At present, there is no cure for near-sightedness. However, the progress of this condition can be slowed with some methods, that an eye doctor can prescribe for you

The goal of treatment for near-sightedness is improving the vision by using corrective lenses or refractive surgery. These methods will help in focusing light exactly on the retina and improve the vision

Corrective Lenses-

Corrective lenses counteract the increasing curvature of the cornea or the increased length of the eyeball. There are different types of these lenses. These include-

Eyeglasses-

  • The simplest and safest method to correct your vision
  • There is a big variety of lenses in eyeglasses, which includes single vision, bifocals, trifocals, etc.

Contact Lens-

  • These are to be worn directly on your eyes
  • There is a wide variety in which these are available, like soft, rigid, spherical, multifocal, etc.
  • There may be some pros and cons to these lenses, and it is best to speak to your doctor about these before buying

Refractive Surgery-

  • This type of surgery decreases the necessity for eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • In this surgery, a laser beam is used to reshape the cornea, which may result in a decreased near-sighted vision. However, the need for eyeglasses may still be there

This is carried out in several ways like-

  • LASIK or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis
  • LASEK or laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy
  • PRK or photorefractive keratectomy

There are many other treatments used to slow or arrest the progression of near-sightedness. These therapies may be promising in stopping near-sightedness from getting worse over time. These may include-

Using atropine, a topical medication used for dilating the pupil

Spending more time outside- spending more time outdoors in the growing age has shown to reduce the occurrence of near-sightedness. Researchers speculate that the sun’s rays may be responsible for this

The orthokeratology- this method uses rigid, gas permeable contact lenses for the correction of the curvature of the eye. However, once the treatment is discontinued, the eyes go back to their earlier shape

Peripheral defocus modifying contact lenses- this method uses contact lenses that keep your eyes evenly focused on the periphery or side of your retina and at the same time correct your near-sightedness

Conclusion

A refractive error in the eye causes people to develop near-sightedness. At present, near-sightedness has no cure. The near-sightedness can be corrected through some measures, though.

References-

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nearsightedness/symptoms-causes/syc-20375556

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