Nearsightedness, which is also referred to as myopia, occurs when closely viewed objects are seen clearly while objects viewed farther away are blurry. Millions of people suffer from nearsightedness but, fortunately, it is a condition that can be treated without resorting to corrective lenses or surgery, such as LASIK. Close work, whether it be sitting too close to your computer screen or spending too many hours crafting, is one major culprit for this condition.
Nearsightedness is certainly no fun to deal with at any age – it can impede your workday now and prevent you from being able to enjoy life to the fullest once you retire. Keep reading to learn more about this condition, what you may be doing to cause it, and some ways you can counteract them.
Causes of Nearsightedness
Nearsightedness can be caused in a variety of different ways. For instance, there is some evidence that supports the thought that nearsightedness is hereditary, but it is also thought to be caused by too much strain put on the eyes from doing a lot of close work.
Close work activities include reading, computer use, and other activities that require your eyes to be close to what you’re doing. In other cases, it can be caused by environmental factors or even other health issues.
Nearsightedness occurs when either the eyeball is too long or the cornea of the eye has too much of a curve. These problems cause the light that enters the eye to focus in front of the retina instead of the back. This is what causes objects at a distance to appear blurry.
Who Is Most Affected?
While anyone of any age can develop myopia, it tends to start in children. This could be for any one of a number of reasons, such as heredity. Just because you may be nearsighted doesn’t necessarily mean your child will be too, but there is a higher risk for your child being nearsighted if both parents are as well. However, it’s also possible that even if both parents are nearsighted, your child could have perfect vision. There’s no way to predict how good or bad your kids’ vision will be just based on family history.
Another reason children develop myopia could be due to holding books too close to their faces and reading excessively. It could also be due to sitting too close to the TV or focusing on things within close range for extended periods of time. This is why teaching them to take care of their eyes when doing close work activities is so important – more on that later.
The eyes develop from birth all the way up to about age 20, so it’s more likely that you or your children will be diagnosed with myopia within that age range. However, adults over the age of 20 can also develop myopia, but when it develops in adulthood, it is much more likely due to excessive visual strain or a health condition such as diabetes.
There are ways to try and prevent myopia starting from childhood. One way is to spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun. Many studies show that spending time outside may prevent or at least reduce the risk of developing nearsightedness.
It might also be beneficial to limit the amount of time children spend doing activities that could put strain on their eyes. If your child is a reader, make sure they take frequent breaks from reading and help them learn to hold the book at a safe distance from their eyes.
It’s also important to limit the time they spend on the computer, cell phones, or tablets as those have all been reported to cause eye strain and other vision issues when used for extended periods of time. These digital devices are what keep kids from spending time outdoors. Put a time limit on how long they can use these things each day and then encourage them to use that time to play outside.
There’s no proven way to prevent myopia in adults. However, there are ways to decrease the likelihood that you will develop myopia and improve your eyesight once you have it. Adults tend to spend a lot of time on computers when at work and other digital devices in their free time. All that use can put a lot of strain on the eyes and can cause various eye problems such as dry eye, and can exacerbate vision problems like myopia.
Taking some time away from electronics can really help your vision and your overall eye health. When you are working all day on the computer, it’s important to take frequent breaks and to readjust your vision.
Supplements and Diet
Eye vitamins can improve vision problems such as myopia. Eye vitamins help to relieve stress on your eyes and help to strengthen your eyes’ ability to focus clearly. Many people take eye vitamin supplements on a daily basis and have improved their eyesight so much they no longer need to use corrective lenses to see clearly.
Adding supplements to your health and wellness regimen will certainly help strengthen your vision. Proper nutrition can help prevent conditions like myopia from developing. However, you can also help strengthen your vision by eating eye-healthy fruits and vegetables. As a general rule, choose produce that is bright yellow, orange, or dark green if you are looking to enhance your vision through diet.
You can also add eye exercises to your daily routine to help prevent myopia. Simply holding an object like a pencil six inches away from your face and quickly switching your focus between that and objects across the room can strengthen the part of your eyes the close work weakens.
If you want to ensure that your eyes and your kids’ eyes stay healthy and strong, remember to cut down on the amount of close work you and your kids do. Take frequent breaks to rest your eyes if you have to do close work. Finally, spend some quality time outdoors to improve your eyesight.