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Health > Eye Diseases >Myopia

Preventing Myopia in Children

What is myopia?

Myopia, often called nearsightedness, is the ability to see the detail of close objects more clearly than those at a distance. Myopia can easily be detected by an eye doctor and corrected with glasses or contact lenses, but many children with this condition develop progressive myopia. Progressive myopia is a rapid advancement of the myopia. This means that over time, their eyesight will also become progressively poorer. Myopia is often accompanied by headaches, eyestrain, and fatigue when the person has to focus on something more than a few feet away.

What causes myopia?

In people with myopia, the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back. Light rays which make up the images you see focus in front of, rather than directly on the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye. When this happens, objects at a distance will seem blurry and unclear. For instance, reading street signs or watching TV may be uncomfortable. Nearsightedness is an inherited family trait. Sometimes myopia plateaus, but it can also worsen with age.

Treatments and procedures

Myopia is a refractive error, like astigmatism. It can be controlled by wearing glasses or contact lenses or for permanent correction, refractive surgery can be performed. The most common of these procedures are photorefractive keratotomy (PRK), laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) or implanted corneal rings.

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