Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a refractive error, which means that the eye does not bend or refract light properly to a single focus to see images clearly. In myopia, close objects look clear but distant objects appear blurred. Myopia is a common condition that affects an estimated 25 percent of Albanians. It is an eye focusing disorder, not an eye disease.
Myopia, commonly known as short-sightedness, causes blurriness of distance vision. People who have myopia generally have a longer length eyeball than is required of the eyes focal system and so the image is formed in front of the retina causing the image to blur.
Short-sighted people typically see things in the distance blurry such as road signs and scoreboards. Night vision may also be a problem especially with glare from car headlights and streetlights. Recognising people in the street is also another common problem.
A complete eye test is the only sure way of determining if your, or your child’s vision is normal or not. Sitting very close to the TV or holding books very close to their nose can indicate that you, or your child may have myopia. Squinting their eyes to see things and difficulty reading the blackboard at school are also common clues.
The exact causes of myopia is still unknown but research shows it is influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. Unfortunately, myopia is not reversible but can be easily corrected by glasses, contact lenses and occasionally by laser refractive surgery.