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Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is an eye condition that causes the vision to be blurry when looking at objects far away. This is due to light rays focusing in front of the retina instead of directly on the retina. Myopia is caused when the cornea is too curved or when the eyeball grows longer from front to back compared to an eye without myopia. Generally, as the eye grows longer, the level of myopia and visual impairment becomes more drastic.



Both genetics and lifestyle factors are linked to the development of myopia. Factors that may increase risks for myopia include:

Myopia may also be linked to genetics. A person with one nearsighted parent has 3 times the risk of developing myopia, or 6 times the risk if both parents are short-sighted. Research also suggests a link between Asian ethnicity and faster progression of myopia, with a higher worldwide rate in this group.

Spending more time doing up close near work has been linked to development of myopia. The rise in the popularity of handheld devices means that children are now exposed to screen devices at a younger age, putting them at a higher risk of myopia development.

Under or over-correction has been shown to promote the onset and accelerate the progression of myopia. Not wearing the correct glasses prescription, or not wearing glasses when they are needed, can cause eye strain that distorts the shape of the eye, leading to myopia.

Myopia typically occurs during childhood when the eyeball grows longer from front to back than an eye without myopia. Myopia occurring in adults is typically caused when the muscles used for focusing the eyes up close become strained or fatigued. This may be due to increase in near work or improperly focused vision, such as not wearing glasses or incorrect prescription. 


Myopia tends to be a progressive and irreversible condition that typically starts during childhood as their eyes are growing at a faster rate. As the eye continues to grow and the amount of myopia increases, ocular tissues change in response to the eye growth, resulting in eye health risks that are not as evident in a non-myopic eye. The more nearsighted a child is, the greater these risks become, and these risks increase exponentially as myopia progresses. The earlier myopia starts, the greater the chances of developing high levels of myopia. 

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina, the thin light sensitive tissue that lines the inside the eye, pulls away from supportive layers of blood vessels that provide its necessary oxygen and nourishment. Depending on the severity it can cause distorted vision or permanent blindness. 

Myopia Macular Degeneration caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina. This causes a loss in sharpness or clarity in the central vision. 

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the eye's optic nerve resulting in irreversible vision loss. Studies show myopic patients have a 2-3x greater risk of developing glaucoma.

Cataracts is the clouding of the lens of the eye causing dull or blurry vision especially in dim lighting. Though cataracts can affect everyone as they age, they often develop sooner in those who have myopia.

Catching and controlling myopia early can slow its progression, reducing the severity of myopia, and in turn reducing the associated risk of developing more serious eye conditions.


Early detection and management is key for successful myopia control.

Tracking both axial length and prescription strength is the gold standard in myopia management.

Orthokeratology, also referred as corneal reshaping therapy involves using a custom designed rigid contact lenses that is worn while sleeping to temporarily reshape the cornea curvature to allow light to focus on the retina. This provides clear vision during the day without need of glasses or contacts during the daytime

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Soft or hybrid contact lenses are designed with vision correction and treatment zones to simultaneously correct the vision and signal the eye to resist growing longer. Lenses are worn during the daytime instead of glasses. Sleeping with soft contact lenses is not advised. 

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Atropine eye drops formulated in lower concentrations are instilled every night before bed to temporarily dilate the pupil of the eye and relax focusing muscles. Atropine can be used in conjunction with other forms of myopia management to increase efficacy. 

Can LASIK or laser eye surgery correct myopia? 
While LASIK corrects distance vision blur, it does not change the length of the eye ball. Therefore it does not reduce the long term risks associated with myopia.


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