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ESH #49 | What Is Nearsightedness (Myopia)?


According to the American Optometric Association Nearsightedness, or Myopia as it is otherwise known, effects around 30% of the US population. This figure is set to rise considerably over the next decade due to the increased amount or near work and visual strain we put on our eyes.

Nearsightedness or MyopiaA study in Asia has shown that 90% of school leavers now have the eye condition Nearsightedness. Twenty years ago the rate was only 20%. This rapid increase rules out the theory that Nearsightedness could only be caused by genetics.

So what causes Nearsightedness and what is it?

Nearsightedness is the elongation of the eyeball which develops up to the age of 21. Symptoms of nearsightedness are just like the name implies: objects nearby are clear and objects in the distance are blurry. The images created by distant objects cannot focus on the detail sensitive center of the retina because the eyeball is too long.

After the age of 21 adults can develop Pseudo Nearsightedness or Pseudo Myopia. Symptoms of this kind of myopia are again blurry objects in the distance. This is caused by a spasm of the Ciliary muscles which keeps the lens rounded. This creates the effect of nearsightedness because as the light enters the eye the image of a distant object falls in front of the retina. The distant image is again seen as blurry.

In the question of the week Will and Richard discuss whether alcohol is bad for your eyesight.

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