Myopía

What is Myopia?

The term Myopia comes from the Greek “myops”.It is composed of the word “myein”,close your eyes and “ops”,eye. Myopia is a refractive defect or an error in the focusing power of the eye where images are focused in front of the retina rather than on the retinal plane.The cause is due to either the eye being too long in the anterior-posterior axis or the cornea (eye window ) being more convex than usual. Myopic or shortsighted people have difficulty in seeing distant objects well , but otherwise see very well close up. It is estimated that up to 20% of the general population suffers from this defect ,affecting both sexes.

What is the cause of Myopia?

The exact cause is unknown, the most accepted hypothesis involves the association of genetic and environmental factors. Although it is known to be more common in children of parents with myopia and other environmental factors, there is also talk of an increased incidence in world population caused by external factors such as the tv, computer monitors etc. Nowadays it is true that the existence of technical means available to the population makes this refractive deficit detected more than in the past when the vast majority of people never went to the ophthalmologist. However even in this XXI century, more than half the word’s population will die without ever having been to the ophthalmologist.

How can we suspect that a person is Myopic?

The most obvious symptom is the inability to see distant objects and see well up close instead. Other accompanying symptoms are usually : drawing closer to objects, blinking, headaches, eye strain etc.

It usually appears at primary school age, growing worse into adolescence and stablizing at 20 years old. Even so a percentage of between 20-30% can continue to grow until more advanced ages.

Does people with myopia have more problems than the person with miopía wich does not?

Indeed people with myopia are more likely than the general population to suffer from various eye diseases, among wich are. Glaucoma (increase eye pressure), Cataract (clouding of the lens), Retinal Detachment, Macular Atrophy (most sensitive part of the retina).

With this I do and misleading to suggest that the myopic be suffering any ocular pathology, rather the opposite is true, they all make a normal life without visual complications in your life.

How is Myopia diagnosed and from what age should the children go to the Ophthalmologist??

SIf there are no physical signs which point to a shortsightedness,a complete eye examination by and ophthalmologist (eye Physician) at 4 years , would be most appropriate age because at this age a child can take the visual acuity test. After dilating the pupil and via a series of technical devices and tests called optotypes, the Ophthalmologist will discern whether there is Myopia or not.

Is it important to detect as soon as posible if your child is Myopic?

It is of the utmost importance, since visual maturity (maximum vision possible) happens at an early age, about 12 years and good vision not developed by that age is very difficult to get after. The fact of not being able to see the blackboard well together with other poor development of cognitive faculties can point to a case of Myopia.

Can Myopia be prevented?

You cannot prevent Myopia, there is the false belief that vitamin intake, the use of glasses, contact lenses or even eye exercises can prevent escalation but it is totally false. It is true that glasses or contact lenses help us to see well which, do not forget, ultimately means a better quality of life.

In daily practice we find tremendously concerned parents because each yearly revision the Myopia is worse to the extent that they implore the Doctor “to please do something”. My answer is always the same: Your child will always nearsighted whatever glasses they wear because of their genetic defect, as well as other physical traits such as height, hair color, eyes etc.

Is there any treatment for Myopia?

Myopia cannot be cured, because although the person can undergo surgery, Myopia is inherent complications is still a pathological condition of the eye. We can correct it by using glasses or contact lenses, or eliminate these by undergoing laser surgery if your eye meets certain medical criteria.

The laser acts as a polisher on the cornea, flattening it, or else we can get the same effect with the insertion of intracorneal rings. In some cases it is not possible to correct the amount of dioptre of Myopia and in this case we can insert a lens into the eye.

In summary I would point out the importance of taking our children (in normal circumstances from age 4), to ophthalmologist to discern if there is a visual defect and if so to establish the right treatment. It is through our sense of vision hat we internalize and assimilate the images of the world around us for necessary for healthy and cognitive development of the individual. Ultimately as stated above seeing well is to live better.

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