Traditional research indicates that myopia is hereditary. However, new research suggests that there are a series of other factors that can contribute to the development of myopia.
Specialists theorize that the rapid increase of visual stress in the 21st century is contributing to the growth of myopia. Visual stress can include hours spent reading, playing video games, doing work on the computer, and using hand-held devices.
Myopia typically first develops in children of school age. After the early onset, it continues to grow throughout the patient’s childhood until around age 20. In adults, myopia may develop due to excessive visual stress and health conditions including diabetes.
Patients who have not yet been diagnosed typically exhibit mild to moderate myopia. The most common symptom is the vision that gets progressively more blurry over time.
Patients with myopia may experience difficulty seeing distant objects as clearly as before, such as reading road signs while driving. Activities such as reading a book or using a computer will typically be unaffected. Other symptoms of myopia include; eyestrain, squinting, and headaches.
Traditional treatments for myopia include prescribing contact lenses or eyeglasses to patients. LASIK, PRK, and other refractive surgery procedures can be used as a permanent solution to a patient’s myopia.
However, with new FDA approved methods, myopia control can be accomplished in young patients to prevent the condition from worsening and rapidly growing within the population.
Myopia control is especially a concern due to the fact that myopia increases the likelihood of developing serious eye conditions. Patients with myopia have an increased risk of a detached retina, glaucoma, and cataracts.