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Myopia And Hypermetropia: What Are They?

Written by Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna on Fri, 11 November 2022

Key Highlights

  • Myopia and hypermetropia are caused by a refractive error in the eyes.
  • Blurred vision, headache, eyestrain, and reading and driving challenges are the symptoms of myopia and hypermetropia.
  • Both are diagnosed by eye checkups
  • Wearing eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery according to refractive error are treatments for this eye condition.
  • Eating a healthy diet, regular eye checkups, cutting down on smoking, and digital screens can prevent myopia and hypermetropia.
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Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. But what if your vision is not good enough? You're not able to see near and far away objects? What will you do in that case? There are so many questions in your head, right?

Myopia and hypermetropia, lagophthalmos are some common eye issues. WHO states that 43% of visual impairments are associated with refractive errors. Are you wondering what exactly are myopia, hypermetropia, and lagophthalmos? Read on to know more about these terms.

What is myopia?

The other name of myopia is nearsightedness and short-sighted eyes, which is a widespread eye condition generally diagnosed before the age of 20. You can see objects near you clearly, but objects further away are blurred and unclear, such as traffic signals, notice boards, banners, and hoardings.

Myopia occurs when the shape of your eye makes light reflect incorrectly and focus in front of the retina, instead of on the retina. Nearsightedness develops gradually and rapidly before 20 years of age. This tends to run in families.

1. Causes of myopia

The cornea and lens are two parts that focus images in your eyes. In a normally shaped eye, each focusing elements are perfectly aligned and have a smooth curve surface like marble. An incoming light makes Sharpe image directly focused on the retina, at the back of your eyes.

Refractive error

These problems make light focus in front of the retina instead of on it and that makes far-away objects look blurry.

2. Signs and symptoms of myopia

Symptoms of myopia include:

  • Vision blurry when viewing far-off items
  • Inability to see well without squinting or partially closing one's eyes
  • Headaches
  • Driving a car can be challenging, especially at night (night myopia)
  • Eye strain 

The earliest signs of nearsightedness are frequently noticed in children, and the condition is frequently identified between the beginning of school and the teen years. A young child that is nearsighted might:

  • Continue to squint
  • Need to be seated nearer to the front of the classroom, the television, or the movie screen
  • Seem to be oblivious to far-off items
  • Blink frequently
  • Regularly rub his or her eyes
  • Poor school performance
  • Hounding books or objects close to the face.

Numerous issues, ranging in severity from minor to severe, are linked to nearsightedness, including:

  • Complications related to myopiaReduced quality of life: Myopia can lower your quality of life if it is not treated. You might be unable to complete a task as effectively as you would like. Additionally, having poor vision could make it harder for you to enjoy your daily activities.
  • Eyestrain: If your myopia is untreated, you might have to squint or strain your eyes to stay focused. Myopia may result to form eye strain and headaches.
  • Reduced safety: If you have an untreated visual issue, both your safety and others could be in danger. If you are using heavy machinery or driving a car, this could be very dangerous.
  • Financial issue: Particularly with a persistent disease like myopia, the price of corrective lenses, eye checkups, and medical treatments can add up. In rare situations, vision loss or diminution might also have an impact on one's ability to earn a living.
  • Other vision issues: You run a higher chance of developing cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic maculopathy, which affects the central retina. Long eyeballs have tissues that are strained and thinned, leading to tears, inflammation, weak new blood vessels that bleed easily, and scarring.

4. Diagnosis of myopia

Causes of LagophthalmosMyopia can be identified by your eye doctor utilizing routine eye exams. Myopia is typically identified in children, however, it can also appear in adulthood due to diabetes or visual stress.

Adults: Your doctor will examine your eye's ability to concentrate light and determine the strength of any corrective lenses you might require.

Your healthcare professional will first ask you to read letters on an eye chart to assess your visual acuity (sharpness). Then, he or she will measure how light is reflected by your retina using a lighted retinoscope. 

A phoropter will also be used by your provider. A phoropter is a device that places several lenses in front of your eyes to calculate how much refractive error is in your eyes.

Children: At each well-child appointment, your pediatrician will examine your child's eyes. If possible, a child's first eye checkup should occur before age 1. You should schedule a follow-up eye test before your child starts kindergarten if there are no obvious eye issues. 

It is especially crucial to test your eyes early if your child has family members who have vision problems because myopia runs in families. Your child may be sent to an optometrist or pediatric ophthalmologist if you, your child, or your pediatrician notice any vision problems.

Your child's eyes will be physically examined during a children's eye exam, and the eye doctor will look for a normal light reflex. Your healthcare provider will also perform vision checks on kids between the ages of 3 and 5 utilizing eye chart tests, drawings, letters, or the "tumbling E game," also known as the "Random E's Visual Acuity Test." 

Make sure your child has vision screenings from an eye doctor or pediatrician before entering kindergarten and then every two years after that because their eyesight continues to change as they develop. Between the ages of 3 and 12, about 75 percent of nearsighted children are diagnosed.

5. Treatment of myopia

Treatment of myopia & hypermetropiaThe most common treatment for myopia is wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses. An eye doctor will prescribe the right lenses to help you see clearly.

1. Prescription lenses

Wearing corrective lenses treats myopia by increasing the curve of your cornea or increasing the length of your eye. 

  • Eyeglasses: This is a quick, secure method to correct nearsightedness and improve vision. Numerous lens options are available for eyeglasses, including single vision, bifocals, trifocals, and progressive multifocal.
  • Contact lenses: Your eyes are directly covered by these lenses. They come in a range of shapes and materials, including flexible and stiff, gas permeable, spherical, toric, and multifocal designs. Consult your eye doctor about the benefits and drawbacks of wearing contacts and which option would be best for you.

2. Refractive surgery

Glasses and contact lenses are not as necessary after refractive surgery. A laser beam is used by your eye doctor to restructure the cornea, which lowers the nearsighted prescription. You might still need to wear eyeglasses occasionally following surgery.

  • Laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses (LASIK): Your eye doctor will cut a tiny, hinged flap into your cornea during this surgery. The cornea's inner layers are then removed with a laser to flatten its oblong form. Compared to other corneal procedures, LASIK recovery is typically quicker and more comfortable.
  • Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK): Only the outer protective layer of the cornea is changed by the surgeon. The outer corneal layer is then reshaped using a laser.
  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK): Similar to LASEK, this surgery involves fully removing the epithelium before the cornea is reshaped using a laser. The epithelium is not replaced; rather, it will spontaneously regrow, taking on the new shape of your cornea.
  • Vision therapy: It is an option if your myopia is caused by spasms of your focusing muscles. You can strengthen the muscles through eye exercises and improve your focus.

As this surgery is not reversible, discuss the potential side effects with your doctor. It is not advisable to have refractive surgery until your nearsighted prescription is stabilized.

6. Prevention of myopia

There are everyday steps that you can follow to stay away from myopia and have overall good eye health.

Eye care tipsTry these sight-saving tips:

  • Restrict your use of digital devices.
  • Stretch your eye muscles by taking breaks from the screen.
  • Avoid working or reading in low light.
  • Encourage outdoor activity.
  • Outside, wear sunglasses.
  • For sports or pastimes, put on safety goggles.
  • Give up smoking.
  • Plan routine eye checkups.

Discuss dual-focus contact lenses with your doctor to help kids develop more slowly.

Remember, avoid spending too much time using smartphones or laptops to the point where your eyes or those of your child become "near gear" stuck. 

Step outdoors. Make family outings to the park a regular occurrence. jog the dog. Get outside and enjoy yourself.

What is hypermetropia?

The other name of hypermetropia is farsightedness, which is also a very common eye condition. You can see objects far from you clearly, but objects that are close look blurred and unclear.

1. Causes of hypermetopia

Your cornea or lens is not properly and smoothly curved, light rays are not refracted evenly, and you have a refractive error.

Hypermetropia happens because your eyeball is shorter, your cornea is flat or your lens is getting older. 

2. Signs and symptoms of hypermetropia

The common symptoms of hypermetropia are:

  • Difficulty in reading
  • Headache and discomfort after prolonged reading
  • Eyestrain
  • When looking at closer things, blurry vision
  • Squinting while trying to reading something in small fonts
  • Lazy eyes
  • Pain in the eyes

3. Complications of hypermetropia

Hypermetropia can cause some complications, such as:

Eye strain: Untreated hypermetropia may need to squint your eyes before reading. This may cause eye strain and headaches.

  • Crossed eyes: There are some cases where children may develop crossed eyes because they have hypermetropia. Specially designed eyeglasses can correct the part of farsightedness to treat this problem.
  • Reduce the quality of life: with an untreated eye, you might not be able to perform your daily task and can not enjoy your day-to-day activity.
  • Impaired safety: if you are driving a car or reading some important manuals to operate the equipment. Being not able to see from a closer may cause any kind of accident.
  • Financial burden: the expenses of eyeglasses, contact lenses, eye examination, and medical treatment add up to your daily expenses. Especially with chronic conditions.

4. Diagnosis of hypermetropia

A simple eye exam that includes a refraction assessment and an eye health check can be used to identify hypermetropia.

You can find out if you have visual issues including myopia, hypermetropia, or presbyopia with a refraction assessment. 

To test your distant and close-up vision, your doctor may employ a variety of tools and request that you gaze through a variety of lenses. To enlarge your pupils during the eye examination, your eye doctor may probably place drops in your eyes. For a few hours following the exam, this can make your eyes more sensitive to light.

Your eyes will dilate, giving your doctor a greater view of the inside of your eyes.

5. Treatment of hypermetropia

Your eye doctor may advise eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery to address hypermetropia:

Eyeglasses: Hypermetropia can be easily corrected with the lenses in eyeglasses. By altering how light focuses on your retina, they achieve this. 

The kind of lenses you require and how frequently you should wear them will depend on the severity of hypermetropia.

Contact lenses: Just like eyeglasses, contact lenses correct the way light bends. 

However, contact lenses are tiny and rest directly on the eyeball's surface. They're typically more convenient, safe, and pleasant. 

However, you can experience problems that make wearing them impossible. Dry eyes, allergies, and recurring eye infections are some side issues.

Refractive surgery: You may decide to undergo cornea-shaping laser surgery to correct your refractive error. These procedures can enhance farsightedness by adjusting the eye's capacity to focus. 

The two most popular procedures are photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK). Some people can lessen or perhaps do away with their need for glasses or contact lenses.

6. Prevention of hypermetropia

You can't prevent hypermetropia, but you can maintain your eye health with the following tips:

  • Try to get a regular eye check-up
  • Protect your eyes from sunlight
  • Prevent all kinds of eye injuries
  • Eat healthy food
  • Use good lighting
  • Reduce eyestrain by using the 20-20-20 rule
  • Use the right corrective lenses

7. Risks of laser eye surgery

All laser surgery has some risks. The most common side effects after LASIK include:

  • Hazy vision for some days
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Glares
  • Light sensitivity
  • Small pink patch on the white part of the eye

These risks often ease over 6 months.

Conclusion

By now, you would have gathered sufficient information about myopia and hypermetropia in children and adults. Myopia and hypermetropia are caused by refractive error. blurred vision, headache, eyestrain, and reading and driving challenges are the symptoms. Both are diagnosed by eye checkups.

Wearing eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery according to refractive error are treatments. However, eating a healthy diet, regular eye checkups, cutting down on smoking, and digital screens can prevent myopia and hypermetropia.

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Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna

Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna Is a medical doctor based out of Ukraine. Dr. Borisovna graduated from the Vinnitsa State Medical University, in 1995. In between 1995-2000, Dr. Borisovna went on to further pursue her post graduation studying scientific activity from the Vinnytsa Medical University in Ukraine.

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