What Is Myopia, and How Is It Treated?

Do you know that myopia or nearsightedness is a common eye condition that affects millions of people? Those that are afflicted with it have difficulty seeing objects and other people from a distance.

Other indicators of myopia also include blurry vision, frequent squinting, and headaches due to eyestrain.

While this condition is relatively common and can be first detected during childhood years, the medical community has yet to discover a definitive cure. However, there are several ways to treat myopia. If not treated properly, complications like cataracts or glaucoma might develop. Such cases require cataractextraction with IOL or laser treatment.

With that in mind, here is a list of some of the treatment options available to correct myopia:

Prescription glasses or contact lenses

Getting prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses is the most common approach. Some people only need glasses for certain activities, such as reading or driving. For others, correcting myopic vision might entail wearing glasses all the time.

Adults over the age of 40 might be required to wear special lenses (e.g., bifocal, progressive lenses).

One downside to this approach is that you might find yourself gradually increasing your prescription grade year after year. As a result, some prefer to resort to other forms of treatment.

Corneal refractive therapy (CRT)

Also known as orthokeratology, this non-surgical procedure involves the wearing of specially designed contact lenses to help adjust the shape of the cornea — the eye’s outer surface.

They are quite different from regular contact lenses since these have to be worn while you’re asleep. The idea is that the lenses temporarily correct any vision problems during the night. So when you wake up and go about your day, you won’t need the support of traditional glasses.

Some doctors and researchers praise RCT’s positive effect on controlling myopia progression. In some longitudinal studies done with nearsighted children, RCT helped reduce the likelihood of myopia worsening during adulthood.

Laser treatment procedures

lasik eye surgery

Some people undergo laser treatment options, like laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). These procedures are commonly sought out by adults with myopia.

During a typical LASIK procedure, doctors remove corneal tissue from the inner layers of the eye. To expose the internal tissues that can be safely removed, the doctors will lift a portion or section of the outer corneal surface.

On the other hand, PRK is limited to removing corneal tissue from the latter area. Doctors will reshape this part and improve how light enters the eye.


For people with severe cases of myopia, their corneas often are not thick enough to undergo laser procedures. In such cases, surgical procedures can be applied.

In some operations, doctors put small lenses with the appropriate optical correction. These implanted lenses can either be positioned at the front of the eye’s natural lens. Alternatively, the implants can outright replace natural lenses.

In the end, before deciding on the proper approach, doctors will assess on a case-by-case basis and consider the different factors present in a particular issue.

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