The Myopic club. are you a member?
As a myopia sufferer myself since I was 6 years old, I know first-hand the struggle of not being able to see clearly from far away and having to rely on glasses and contact lenses every day. As a little madam, I could not understand why the chalk marks on my school’s blackboard were becoming increasingly blurry day after day. Later I found out I was one of the many kids who had this eye disorder known as myopia.
Myopia is the most common refractive error of the eye and it has become more prevalent in recent years, even reaching epidemic proportions in east Asia.
Have you started to find reading street signs or watching movies at the cinema a struggle? Are the destination signs on the Tube a little harder to make out? Have you started to suffer from headaches or eyestrain during or at the end of the day?
But everything close up is crystal clear. These are the main symptoms of myopia, so if you are experiencing them, there is a strong possibility you might be becoming short- sighted.
But why does it occur?
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long. So, the distance between the cornea -the clear window at the front of the eye- and the retina -the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye- is too far apart. This means that short- sightedness develops because light rays focus in front of the retina instead of on the retina, which causes blurry vision.
What specifically causes the eyeball to grow longer is currently unknown. Nonetheless, one of the most common argued causes is genetics. So if any of your parents are short sighted, feel free to put the blame on them. But before you do, we should let you know a few other possible causes.
Another factor is the environmental. Studies have shown how more time outdoors can nearly balance out that genetic risk.
Children who spend more time outdoors have a lower probability of developing myopia. Why? You might ask. The answer is that while outside children tend to look further into the distances. They are also more exposed to sunlight, which has recently been deemed crucial in the development of normal vision. On the other hand, spending a disproportionate amount of your time reading, writing, or looking at our mobile phone or computer can trigger myopia.
Like my situation, myopia can typically start at a very young age, even though it may appear later in life too. But because kids are oblivious to most things in life, they often think their blurry vision is normal. So regular eye examinations are essential.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, fortunately. Although myopia doesn’t have a cure, the good news is that it can be easily corrected with the use of contact lenses and glasses. There are even some more advanced techniques to correct the vision with overnight contact lenses, to leave you with near perfect sight during the day. This is known as Orthokeratology and has seemed to gain popularity over the last few years.
A common myth that people believe is if they start to wear glasses their vision will get worse. But the reality is that before having glasses, they have been walking about happily with 70% vision. However with glasses they can appreciate what 100% vision is like but slowly become dependent to how the world around them should really look like. For this reason, people start to assume they are seeing worse now than when they used to without glasses.
If you have recently discovered you have unwittingly become a member of the myopic club, there is nothing to worry about. Almost 23% of the world population suffer this condition, so you are definitely not alone.
Fashion Consultant to the Eye Est.
(& very short- sighted)