6 Ways to Treat Myopia

Light must refract in a certain way to reach the retinas correctly so that a person’s eyes can see things clearly. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness or shortsightedness, refers to a vision condition in which a longer eye shape or an incorrect curvature of one or both corneas results in a person seeing clearly only at short distances because refractive errors cause light to fall short of the retinas. Sometimes this problem is compounded by other defects that make anything seen at a distance through one or both eyes appear blurrier or doubled. For example, a person with myopia might also have an eye-related muscle control problem that turns the eye inward (esotropia) or outward (exotropia) or an eye and brain communication problem that makes an eye drift as seen with “lazy eye” or amblyopia.

A wide range of non-invasive and invasive treatment options for myopia and associated defects and conditions have been developed through the centuries. With growing advances in technology in recent years, these treatments have become more precise and safer. Any person with access to these treatments can enjoy a level of visual improvement and control via assistive technologies never before experienced in human history. If you have started to have difficulties seeing distant objects clearly or your sight has worsened with aging or injury, it’s time to speak with your vision specialist about these options:

1. Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses are one of humanity’s oldest myopia treatment tools. Known also as glasses, corrective lenses and spectacles, eyeglasses utilize a lens system that refracts and focuses light a few millimeters from the surface of the eyes in ways that help artificially correct natural refractive errors. It’s currently believed that eyeglasses were first used in Italy some time during the 1280’s. Prior to that time, many people had no choice but to accept their myopia as a permanent disability. In fact, some people had visual impairment that made distant objects so blurry that extreme myopia was thought of as a type of blindness.

Those with nearsightedness so severe that they had difficulties seeing anything unless it was held close to their eyes utilized reading stones made of gemstones, crystals or glass pieces to make it easier to see things at any distance and magnify text. These days, modern eyeglasses provide similar assistance, but they’re designed with two lenses made of glass or plastic and a metal or plastic frame designed with pads that rest on the nose and arms that rest on the ears. The lenses can also be treated with special coatings that make them scratch-resistant, anti-reflective to reduce glare from computers and bright lights, block harmful UV rays and transition from clear to a color to double as sunglasses. Frames come in a wide range of styles, including heavier thick plastic and metal frames that completely surround the lenses and thin metal ones that consist only of arms attached to the sides of the lenses that connect over the nose bridge with a small metal bar.

For those who can’t handle heavy frames, lightweight metal full and partial frame designs and Pince-nez designs that rest on the nose or feature a nose clip without the support of arms are also available. It’s important to keep in mind that these alternative options, especially Pince-nez, might not work well for all-day use since they can fall off easily, for example, in a windy situation. To be fitted for eyeglasses, an optometrist tests your eyes in various ways to determine the type of corrections you need for your lenses.

Once you pick a frame style and lens shape that you feel best matches your facial features and personal preferences, you should receive your glasses either that same day if your optometrist has a lab onsite or between a few business days and two weeks. If you can’t afford prescription glasses, many affordable over-the-counter, non-prescription options have been made available to the public. You can find a variety of inexpensive magnifying devices, including non-RX reading glasses known as “cheaters” and theater-style binocular spectacles.