The Myopia Epidemic
If you have trouble seeing things clearly from far away, you may be nearsighted and part of a growing number of people who have this focusing problem. Since the introduction of computers, tablets and digital phones there has been a significant increase in the number of nearsighted people in the United States and other developing countries. This change is particularly alarming in the US pediatric population where nearsightedness is becoming nearly epidemic.
Although historically eye doctors believed nearsightedness to be primarily an inherited trait, there appear to be clear environmental factors that can influence the frequency and severity of this vision focusing problem. When the environmental factors are ignored or left untreated, those people predisposed genetically to nearsightedness may experience even further progression of this common vision disorder.
Lasik is an ideal way to treat myopia, the technical term for nearsightedness. Correcting the vision permanently through surgery and avoiding those factors that cause progression can provide you with a lifetime of clear healthy vision. Will Vision and Laser Centers has been the trusted name in modern vision correction in the Pacific Northwest for decades, offering the skill and expertise of our world renowned refractive surgeon, Dr. Brian Will.
Come visit us by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Will to see how we can correct your case of nearsightedness and fight this growing trend. Appointments may be made at any of our conveniently located offices near Portland, OR today!
What Is Nearsightedness?
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia or shortsightedness, refers to an eye condition in which individuals can clearly view objects up close but struggle to see those that are far away. The further an object is in the distance, the blurrier it may appear. Those who are nearsighted may not realize it at first, as not every object will appear blurry.
For example, those who are nearsighted generally have no difficulty reading a book or computer screen but may struggle to see traffic signs that are several hundred feet away. Those who are nearsighted may also experience such ailments as frequent squinting, eye strain, headaches, and feelings of fatigue while driving or playing sports.
What Causes Nearsightedness?
In the past, genetics were believed to be responsible for nearsightedness. However, environmental factors that appear to cause nearsightedness have recently been identified.
Based on recent population studies, the most likely sources for this newfound prevalence in nearsightedness is the increased use of near vision for viewing smart phones, tablets and computers. In addition, large scientific studies have linked light exposure to progression of myopia.
As a result of this new research, eye doctors can now suggest that nearsightedness may be worsened by:
- Prolonged reading in low light
- Looking at a smartphone, tablet or computer screen for excessive periods of time
- Spending too much time indoors
These studies suggest that people who spend more time outdoors in bright sunlight experience less progression of nearsightedness than those who spend most of their time indoors in artificial light. Bright light appears to stimulate the production of growth hormones that decrease the tendency for the eye to continue to elongate and create myopia.
Identifying and Preventing Nearsightedness
Diagnosing this condition as soon as possible is for the better. Regular eye exams are important to help determine the issue, as nearsightedness often develops at an early age. If you are nearsighted, there’s a high possibility your child will become nearsighted, too. If either you or your child has nearsightedness, several behavioral changes may reduce its progression:
- Wearing vision correction (eyeglasses) to minimize eye strain
- Reducing the number of near-tasks you or your child perform by restricting screen time
- Taking frequent breaks by focusing in the distance
- Spending more time outdoors in recreational or work-related activities that do not require prolonged near-focusing
With more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Will has the expertise to determine the cause and severity of the condition as well as the ability to recommend the best solution for your eyes. Most importantly, Dr. Will has only one goal when it comes to treating his patients – to create a lifetime of amazingly clear vision. As every person and every eye is unique, Dr. Will personally meets with every patient and thoroughly examines their eyes in order to craft a solution that is ideal for their specific condition and visual needs.
Dr. Brian Will is dedicated to quality care and his patients receive the personalized attention and visual results they need and deserve. Dr. Will provides a safe, effective, and accurate approach to patient diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for Myopia in Portland, OR
Finding the right treatment for your needs first requires an eye exam, so Dr. Will can determine the severity of nearsightedness and discuss your preferences. Most patients who are nearsighted may regain clear vision from optical solutions as simple as wearing glasses or contacts or as advanced as wavefront-guided refractive eye surgery. In general, the earlier treatment is pursued the better so that patients can avoid the challenges that poor vision can create in both work and school.
Glasses are the most common solution for people with nearsightedness allowing them to clearly see objects in the distance. For older patients who also suffer from presbyopia, these glasses may be multi-focal with correction for both distance and reading built into the same set of lenses. Glasses create a collection of aggravations ranging from physical discomfort caused by weight on the nose and ears to frustration when involved in sports or participating in activities outside in the rain. Multi-focal glasses also often create a “fish-bowl” effect that can create dizziness and difficulty walking or ascending and descending stairs.
Contact lenses are highly popular particularly since the introduction of soft contact lenses that can correct for astigmatism. Unfortunately, many people cannot simply tolerate the insertion or wearing of contact lenses. Others, although having been successful in the past, can no longer tolerate contacts due to the onset of allergies or dry eye. Fortunately, those people that are unable to wear contact lenses are frequently ideal candidates for advanced wavefront-guided bladeless Lasik.
LASIK surgery is a very popular and highly successful option for those who are nearsighted. During laser vision correction surgery, a laser reshapes your cornea, permitting light entering your eye to focus correctly. With today’s advanced technology, most people are excellent candidates for laser vision correction. Your specific condition dictates whether surgery can provide the results you’re looking for. It’s important to note that LASIK centers that utilize older technology may not be able to handle your case successfully.
The Future's Right Before Your Eyes!
If you’re ready to take the next step in your journey to better vision, contact Will Vision & Laser Centers today. We’re excited to welcome you into our practice and for you to “See the Difference.”
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Will
Your eyesight is important. Whether you wish to pursue glasses, contacts, or surgery for correction of nearsightedness, it’s critical for you to work with an experienced professional like Dr. Will as you don’t want a rookie mistake to cause your vision to worsen or be permanently affected.
In addition to his many years of experience, Dr. Will‘s passion for your personal best vision and his relentless pursuit of vision perfection is what sets him apart from other doctors in the industry. As one of the most trusted surgeons in the world, he’s participated in more than 75,000 laser vision procedures and, as a pioneer in the field of vision correction, he only uses state-of-the-art technology.
If you’re nearsighted and wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Will to discuss treatment options, contact his Vancouver, Washington or Salem & Portland, Oregon offices today by calling (877) 542-3937 or simply complete our online contact form. Come visit us today and See the Difference.
A 2018 study on more than 250,000 subjects from Asia, Europe, and North America aimed to appraise the link between genetics and nearsightedness. The study identified 161 genetic factors associated with myopia, most previously unknown.
And while each gene has only minimal influence on the risk of becoming nearsighted, those who carry a large number are 10 times more likely to be nearsighted than those who don’t.
Yes. Headaches are a common symptom of uncorrected nearsightedness.
Only in extreme cases can nearsightedness lead to becoming blind. A more advanced level of high myopia may create complications like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment, leading to blindness.
Though some programs and exercises boast of providing a cure for myopia, there is no scientific evidence to back these up. Most ophthalmologists and other eye specialists dismiss them as a waste of money and time.