Written by Julie Bruff
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What Is Myopia?

As much as 20 to 30 percent of the population is affected by myopia, or nearsightedness. If you are myopic it means that you can focus well on objects that are close to you, but that your vision becomes blurred for objects in the distance. People suffering from myopia need glasses to help them with their daily life and must always wear glasses for such activities as driving.

Myopia is just one of several kinds of different refractive error. This means that the light does not pass through their cornea in a straight line, but is distorted. Sometimes it is because the eyeball is to elongated, or sometimes because the curve of the eye is too acute.

Different Treatments for Myopia

Whatever the reason, treatment of myopia can either be with a prescription for glasses or contact lenses, or through laser eye surgery. The prescription for someone with myopia will be a minus number, such as -3 diopters. The higher the number, the more severe the degree of myopia. Everyone can wear glasses, although for someone with an extreme case of myopia they may still not be able to give perfect acuity of vision. Some people cannot wear contact lenses; this may be a personal preference as some of us find them very uncomfortable to wear, or it may be due to some other problem.

Increasingly, people are electing to go for refractive surgery such as LASIK to correct their myopia. Generally, laser surgery for myopia is very successful, but some of us are not good candidates. If your prescription is more than -12 diopters you will not be considered for LASIK surgery. See our other pages for more reasons why you may not be a good candidate for laser eye surgery.

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