Short-sightedness, also known as myopia, is a common refractive error that affects the way a person sees objects in the distance. It's a condition where close-up objects appear clear while those in the distance become blurred or fuzzy. Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly elongated, causing light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This results in difficulty in seeing objects clearly from afar, which can impact daily activities such as driving, watching movies, or recognising people from a distance. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and available solutions for short-sightedness is crucial in managing and improving one's vision for a clearer and more comfortable daily experience.
Short-sightedness is considered a normal variation in visual health, as many individuals experience some degree of myopia during their lives. Myopia often develops during childhood and adolescence, and its prevalence has been increasing globally due to factors like increased near work (such as prolonged screen time) and limited outdoor activities.
People who are short-sighted often cope by using corrective measures to improve their vision and make daily tasks more manageable. Some common ways individuals manage myopia include:
Wearing prescription eyeglasses with lenses that are concave (thicker at the edges) helps to bend light properly onto the retina, correcting the focus and allowing for clear distance vision.
Many individuals with myopia prefer the convenience and aesthetics of contact lenses. Soft contact lenses can provide clear vision without the need for eyeglasses.
Laser vision correction procedures like LASIK, PRK, or SMILE can reshape the cornea to correct myopia, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.
This involves wearing specialised contact lenses overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea, providing clear vision during the day without the need for eyeglasses or lenses.
Routine eye examinations by an optometrist or ophthalmologist are essential for monitoring the progression of myopia, especially in children. Early detection and intervention can help manage myopia effectively.
Spending time outdoors, particularly in natural sunlight, has been associated with a reduced risk of myopia progression in children.
Moreover, while myopia is common, it can have implications for eye health if left unmanaged, as severe myopia increases the risk of eye conditions like retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts. That's why individuals with myopia are encouraged to maintain regular eye check-ups and discuss with eye care professionals the best strategies for managing their condition and preserving their long-term eye health.
Think about it. It is not normal to be short-sighted. Let’s imagine that you always had normal vision.
You can see everything clearly from the moment you wake till you go to sleep and you never have to reach for glasses or contacts to put your world in focus.
Now, let’s suppose that you have an operation or an accident or something happens to you and as a result, you have to wear the glasses or the contacts you have now in order to see clearly again.
So you would go to an eye specialist and ask them how you get your normal vision back. Imagine that the specialist tells you that you must wear glasses or contacts every day for the rest of your life.
It's unlikely that your reaction would be “Wow, that’s great. Thanks”.
You can determine if you are short-sighted (myopic) through various signs and symptoms, but the most accurate way to diagnose myopia is by having an eye examination conducted by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Here are some common signs and ways to identify myopia:
If you experience any of these symptoms or suspect you might have myopia, it's important to schedule an eye examination. Early detection and proper management can help ensure clear vision and prevent potential complications associated with myopia.
By now you would have realised that glasses or contacts do not cure Myopia, they merely make it survivable.
And then when they tell you that you must come back every year to get a new prescription it is probable that you will ask “But is there any way I can have my normal vision back and not have to bother every day with glasses or contacts?” They would answer “Yes, you can have SMILE laser and in fact, it’s safer than soft contact lens wear.
So if a shortsighted person really had a choice they would choose normal vision over short-sightedness. Because shortsightedness creeps up on you over the years from a young age, it can seem that it is OK to live with glasses or contacts but in fact, it is not.
You should consider wearing glasses when you experience vision problems that impact your daily activities, such as reading, driving, working on a computer, or watching TV. Here are some common scenarios when wearing glasses might be beneficial:
Furthermore, the decision to wear glasses depends on your visual needs and comfort. If you're experiencing any vision-related challenges, it's best to schedule an eye examination with an optometrist or ophthalmologist. They can assess your vision, prescribe the appropriate corrective lenses if needed, and advise you on the best approach to address your vision concerns.
Modern laser eye surgery is now so safe that it is safer than contact lens wear over the lifetime of a shortsighted person.
It even can be adjusted if required (rarely) every decade or so if the focus shifted. And it brings normal vision, the vision we are all supposed to have.
Make that no-brainer decision now and get SMILE laser correction. Be normal.
Laser eye surgery, such as LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis), PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), or SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction), can effectively correct short-sightedness (myopia) by reshaping the cornea, which is the clear front surface of the eye. Here's how these procedures work:
Reshaping the Cornea
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly elongated, causing light to focus in front of the retina rather than directly on it. This results in blurry distance vision. Laser eye surgery aims to address this by reshaping the cornea to redirect light properly onto the retina.
Creating a Flatter Cornea
For myopia correction, the laser removes a small amount of corneal tissue from the central area. This flattens the cornea's curvature, allowing light to focus directly onto the retina.
Before the surgery, detailed measurements of your eye's structure are taken to create a personalised treatment plan. The surgeon uses these measurements to guide the laser in reshaping the cornea precisely.
In LASIK, a thin flap is created on the cornea's surface. This flap is lifted, and the underlying corneal tissue is reshaped using an excimer laser. The flap is then repositioned, acting as a natural bandage. The procedure is quick and relatively painless.
In PRK, the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is gently removed to expose the corneal tissue underneath. The laser then reshapes the tissue, and the epithelium regenerates naturally over a few days.
SMILE is a minimally invasive procedure where a small lenticule (tissue disc) is created within the cornea using a femtosecond laser. This lenticule is then extracted through a tiny incision, reshaping the cornea to correct myopia.
Healing and Recovery
After the procedure, the cornea gradually heals and stabilises, resulting in clearer vision. Most patients experience improved vision within a few days to a week.
Laser eye surgery can provide long-lasting results, often allowing patients to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contact lenses for distance vision.
Here at My iClinic, we offer a FREE eye scan for people interested in finding out more about laser eye surgery.
These scans will tell you about your eye and usually confirm that laser eye surgery would give you normal vision.