Myopia (Nearsightedness)


Lt Col Reynolds
Myopia, commonly called nearsightedness, affects over 25 percent of all adults in the United States. Dr. Flemings, can you tell us about myopia?

Lt Col Flemings
Sure thing, Dr. Reynolds. Myopia can start in childhood and become progressively worse through adolescence. It sometimes stops changing by the late teens, but for some people, it will continue to worsen into the mid-twenties.

For a person with myopia, objects up close appear clear, but objects far away appear blurry. This happens because a myopic eye is generally longer or the cornea has a steeper curve, which makes the light rays refract too much. The resulting images of distant objects form in front of the retina instead of on the retina.

Myopia can be corrected by any method that reduces the total refractive power of the eye. Eyeglasses and contact lenses accomplish this by putting “negative” lenses in front of the eye. “Negative” lenses are thicker at the edge than in the center. Refractive surgery to correct myopia flattens the central part of the cornea to reduce the eye’s total refractive power.