This medical term describes when a person cannot see distant objects clearly without the need for a corrective minus lens. The traditional view is that light entering the eye from the distance is focussed too early and so the image is blurred.
In Australia, it is estimated that 20% of adults have myopia and it is generally accepted that the first symptoms of myopia are experienced around puberty. In Asian cultures where children start learning characters at 3 years old, the prevalence of myopia can be as high as 80% of the population.
Currently there is no cure for myopia. However, recognising that prolonged near tasks may be contributing factor for the start of myopia, we will advise you on proper posture, working distance, lighting and other techniques to help reduce the impact of near visual stress.
A lens to make distance viewing clear is the simplest treatment, but it is not necessarily the best correction for myopia. It compensates for the distance blur but does not treat any focussing and eye-teaming problems that may also be present and which may be contributing to the myopic progression. We may need to prescribe special spectacle lenses such as enhanced near vision lenses or multifocals as a way of clearing the distance blur and at the same time assisting in treating the focusing or eye-teaming problems. Vision therapy may also need to be applied.
Other corrective options available are contact lenses, refractive surgery and accelerated orthokeratology. Clinical trials have indicated that wearers of rigid gas permeable lenses and orthokeratology lenses may show a decreased rate of myopia progression.
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