Myopia

hand holding glasses to eye chart

Myopia, or nearsightedness, means that your eyes can see close objects clearly but struggle to see things in the distance. Nearly 30 percent of Americans are nearsighted.

This condition usually develops in children and teenagers, up to about the age of 20. A teacher or parent might notice a child squinting at the chalkboard or TV. Other common symptoms include headaches, frequent blinking and rubbing of the eyes and failing to notice distant objects.

Causes

If the curvature of your cornea — the clear part on the front of your eye — is too steep, you will be nearsighted. Myopia can also be caused by an eyeball that is too long, relative to the lens’ and cornea’s focusing power. Light entering your eye will not be correctly focused, causing things in the distance to look blurry.

However, what causes these defects is still under debate. Heredity and visual stress are leading contenders. If both parents are nearsighted, the child is at higher risk. Examples of visual stress include excessive reading, computer use or other tasks that demand the eyes to focus on close objects. Note: Myopia due to close work is sometimes temporary.

Eye problems can also be symptoms of other disorders, such as diabetes or a cataract developing in the eye.

Testing and Diagnosis

Eye doctors test patients’ vision by having them read letters on a Snellen chart that is placed about 20 feet away from the patient. Your doctor may also use lighted instruments to determine the focusing power of your eyes. Sometimes, eye doctors use eye drops to dilate the eyes. This temporarily prevents the eyes from changing focus, so he or she can examine them more easily.

Once your eye doctor finishes the test, he or she can determine whether you have myopia. If you suffer from myopia, you and your eye doctor will discuss possible treatment options.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Eyeglasses are the most commonly prescribed and least invasive method of treating myopia. Depending on how nearsighted you are, you might need to wear glasses some or all of the time. If you also have trouble seeing things close-up, your eye doctor might prescribe bifocals. These let you see both far and close objects more clearly, and are popular with patients over the age of 40.

Contact lenses can provide a wider field of vision and may let you see more clearly. However, because they are worn directly on the eye, they need extra care and cleaning. Contact lenses are not recommended for those who are squeamish about touching their eyes.

Orthokeratology, also called corneal refractive therapy, involves wearing rigid contact lenses that reshape your cornea’s curvature. This therapy changes how light enters your eyes, eventually making your eyes focus correctly. The results from orthokeratology are temporary, and patients must continue to use these specialized contact lenses to maintain results.

Surgical Treatment Options

Laser procedures such as photorefractive keratectomy and LASIK have become more prevalent over the last few decades. With laser vision correction surgery, the ophthalmologist uses laser energy to remove a small amount of corneal tissue, thus reshaping the curvature of the cornea and correcting the refractive error that is causing myopia.

Highly nearsighted people may be better suited for another type of refractive surgery, including refractive lens exchange (RLE). The ophthalmologist implants a corrective lens directly into the eye. This lens is placed either right in front of the eye’s natural lens or it replaces the natural lens entirely.

Many treatments are available to myopic patients. Call our practice today, so we can help you decide which one is best for your visual needs and lifestyle practices.

Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I’m definitely going back! “The most thorough eye exam I ever had was at Envision Eyecare. Plus they have a very helpful and professional staff, a beautiful office space, and an great eclectic selection of unique frames to choose from. I’m definitely going back!”"
    Nancy Hyton
  • "Best eye care in Asheville “If you truly want the best eye care in Asheville and it’s surrounding area you need to visit Envision Eye Care. This group of members makes you feel like your family. I had a full check-up and purchased a pair of sunglasses and the entire process was awesome. Just go visit and you will see what I’m talking about.”"
    Scott Finney
  • "When others had failed, Dr. Golson understood “When I first visited Envision, I was skeptical that Dr. Golson would be able to help with my special circumstances. When others had failed, Dr. Golson understood and was very patient working with me to get my prescriptions correct. The staff is exceptional and greets me by name each time I visit their office. I strongly recommend Envision to fill all your needs for eyecare. And they have awesome frames! Thanks guys and gals at Envision.”"
    Donna Koger
  • "Service and genuine concern for your best interests “I went to Dr. Golson and Envision Eye Care for an eye check recently. The office environment is very pleasant and the staff very helpful. Dr. Golson did a very thorough eye exam and was able to allay any fears I had about my visual health. In addition, I felt no pressure to purchase glasses at their facility. If service and genuine concern for your best interests are of value to you I recommend Dr. Golson and his staff at Envision Eye Care!”"
    Lawrence Hines
  • "Great Experience. “Had an eye emergency and they got me right in. Have since used them for my families eye care. Really good experience in every way.”"
    Katherine Dreyer
  • "Finally, an eye doctor who cares! “Great office with the nicest staff in Asheville. So impressed! I don’t have insurance so I wanted to be sure that my money went to a great local business, so glad my husband recommended them!”"
    Dani Magestro
  • "I trust my eyes to Envision Eye Care! “First, when you enter the office, you are greeted like you are the most important, special person in the world. Second, the staff is extremely professional and friendly and knowledgeable. Dr. Larry is patient eye care is phenomenal! The most conscientious, thorough Dr. I have ever been to!”"
    Karen Paradis

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