What is Myopia?

WHAT IS MYOPIA AND WHY DOES IT INCREASE?

Myopia (short sightedness) is an extremely common eye condition which generally allows close objects to be viewed clearly but distant images are blurred. The eye is its own optical system and for it to work perfectly light must enter the eye via the pupil and be focused on the retina. In a myopic (short sighted) eye the focusing system is not perfect and the light is actually focused in front of the retina so by the time the light does actually reach the retinal surface the image is blurred.

During childhood your eyes, along with the rest of the body, grow in size. For the myopic (short sighted) eye, the retina grows further and further away from the point where the light is focused, and so this myopic (short sighted) problem gets worse. This constant lengthening of the eye during childhood is why many of us end up so short sighted. If the rate at which the eye’s length grows could be reduced or stopped, then the myopic (short sighted) increase we so often see in our children could also be reduced.

There have been many studies conducted in to myopia (short sightedness) and the evidence certainly seems to suggest that the problem of myopia (short sightedness) in the developed world is on the increase. So why are we becoming more and more myopic (short sighted)? There are a number of theories but as yet none of them are proven. Here are a few of the possible reasons for this increase in myopia (short sightedness).

  1. Parental Myopia. It is pretty certain that there is a genetic link between myopic (short sighted) parents and their children.
  2. A natural adaptation to the modern world’s near vision requirements. Much of our education involves a constant need for close work. It is possible that the human eye is naturally evolving in a more myopic (short sighted) way to help cope with all this near vision.
  3. It is known that a drop in outdoor activity can lead to insufficient levels of Vitamin D which is obtained from sunlight. Could a drop in our Vitamin D be contributing to all this myopic (short sighted) increase?
  4. It has been suggested that a modern diet may also be contributing to this myopic (short sighted) shift.

As mentioned before these are only theories and are as yet unproven. However as suggestions they are both interesting and plausible. What is undisputed is that there is an increase in myopia (short sightedness) and it would be beneficial to those suffering from it if there was a way of reducing the problem..