Month: June 2023

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

We have talked about this topic on our blog before, but it has been a little while so we thought it would be good idea to re-visit it this month. According to the AAO this disorder is on the rise for several decades. They estimate that by 2050, almost HALF of the worlds population will have nearsightedness. So lets take a look at what this disorder is and how to treat or prevent it.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is commonly referred to as nearsightedness. It is when objects up close look clear but objects in the distance are blurry. So it may be easy to read something like a restaurant menu, but when you are driving you are unable to read road signs that are far away.

Myopia is currently categorized into two levels, either high or low myopia. You can be diagnosed with either and your eye doctor will prescribe the best contacts of glass lenses to correct your vision for you.

Usually if children are diagnosed with myopia, their level will rise but can level off in their twenties.

How to tell if you have Myopia?

There are some symptoms you could be experiencing that might be because of myopia. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting
  • Difficulty seeing things that are far away
  • Blurry Vision

Of course the most effective way to find out if you or your child have myopia would be to schedule an eye exam and let an eye doctor diagnose it.

What Causes Myopia?

If you have myopia, then the shape of your eye is preventing light from bending so that the light is not landing on your retina. In an eye without myopia, the cornea and lens will work together to bend the light you see and have it land directly on the retina. The retina will then send a signal to your brain which allows you to see.

If your cornea is curved too steeply or if your eye is longer than normal it can cause the light rays you are seeing to not fall on your retina which then makes it harder to see.

How is Myopia Treated?

The easiest way to treat myopia is with glasses or contacts. After an eye exam, your eye doctor will prescribe a lens that will help to correct your vision. Your prescriptions will change over time, which is why it is important to see your eye doctor each year. They can change your glasses or contacts to better correct your vision as your vision changes.

There are also surgeries that you could be a candidate for. Theses types of surgeries are called refractive surgeries and include:

  • Epi-LASIK
  • PRK

Refractive surgeries an ophthalmologist removes the natural lens inside your eye and replaces it with an artificial lens. The new lens helps to aim the light at the retina to help you see more clearly.

Can Myopia be Prevented?

There is some research to support being able to prevent myopia from progressing and one of the theories is to encourage children to spend more time outdoors. Balancing indoor and outdoor time can help protect against myopia.

The best way to combat any eye disorder is to regularly see your eye doctor. If you or your children are experiencing any of the above symptoms we described, call us today to make your appointment!

Eye Exams: All You Need to Know

As we grow older, it can get easier and easier to let things like your regular eye exams slip through the cracks. We wanted to re-visit this topic because there are so many reasons to have your eye’s examined regularly. There are implications of other health concerns that can be caught in an eye exam. It can be easy to think your vision doesn’t need any correction, until you get an exam and realize you haven’t been seeing the world as clearly as you could have been!

Why You Need to See a Doctor

Eye diseases are can go unnoticed with no symptoms for a long time before they cause harm. If you are regularly seeing a doctor, they can notice changes in your eye before symptoms occur. If caught early enough some diseases can be treated to prevent vision loss later on.

We actually offer a specific service not all eye doctors have, the Optomap Prime, which allows our doctors to do a comprehensive eye exam without having to dilate your eyes. This new technology takes away the invasive process of dilation that can deter some people from their regular eye exam. Make sure to ask us about this at your next visit.

An eye doctor is going to examine a few different things in your eye exam such as:

  • visual acuity (sharpness)
  • depth perception
  • eye alignment
  • eye movement

In addition to catching eye issues early, an eye exam may also be able to catch other health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. They can let you know what they find so you can follow up with your primary care doctor.

Regular Eye Exams Save Vision

Like we were saying, if some eye conditions are caught early enough, there are treatments that can help to save your vision. An eye exam can catch some common eye diseases. Some common eye diseases that can lead to permanent vision loss are:

  • Cataracts – this is a clouding of the eye lens and is the leading cause of vision loss in the US.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy – this causes damage to blood vessels int he back of the eye.
  • Glaucoma – this describes a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve.
  • Age Related Macular Degeration – this is a gradual breakdown of the light sensitive tissue in the eye.

We have published blogs on each of these conditions, if you are looking for a deeper dive into them check out the other blogs on our website.

How Often Should You Have an Eye Exam?

It is very important for children to have their eyes examined frequently as they are growing. There are some learning disabilities that can be misdiagnosed vision problems, and you won’t know until your child has an exam. It is recommended that children get at least one exam between the ages of 3 and 5. Ideally school aged children should be examined every year, especially if you are noticing any issues with focusing at school.

People with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam every year and people who are at higher risk for glaucoma should have a dilated exam every two years.

If you can’t remember when your last exam was, it is probably a good idea to schedule one!