Nearsightedness is a common vision condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects far away are blurry. People with severe nearsightedness can see only objects that are just a few inches from their eyes. This condition runs in families and often gets worse from childhood to adolescence. You can easily correct the condition with eyeglasses or contact lenses.  Another treatment option for nearsightedness is surgery.


Nearsightedness is often detected in childhood when the child persistently squints, sits close to the television, holds books close while reading or seems unaware of distant objects.


Mayo Clinic research has documented several life complications resulting from nearsightedness, such as:


Reduced quality of life:  People with nearsightedness might not be able to perform tasks as well as they wish, which might detract from their enjoyment of day to day activities.


Eyestrain:  Squinting can cause eyestrain and headaches.


Impaired Safety:  For the safety of everyone, a person with uncorrected nearsightedness should not drive or operate heavy equipment.


Glaucoma: A person with nearsightedness has an increased risk of glaucoma,  a serious eye disease.


Retinal tear and detachment:  If you are significantly nearsighted, it is possible that the retina of your eye is thin. The thinner your retina, the higher your risk of developing a retinal tear or retinal detachment.  If you experience sudden onset of flashes, floaters or a dark curtain across part of your eye, seek immediate medical attention, or you may risk loss of sight in the affected eye. 


Wearing corrective lenses treats nearsightedness by counteracting the increased curvature of the cornea. Unfortunately, there are no proven ways to prevent the condition from occurring or progressing.


Although you cannot prevent nearsightedness, you can help protect your eyes and vision by following these steps:

  • Have your eyes checked regularly for problems.
  • Control chronic health conditions. Certain conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure can affect your vision.
  • Recognize Symptoms. Sudden loss of vision, flashes in the eye, and seeing rainbows around lights may signal a serious eye problem. Call you doctor immediately if you experience any of these conditions.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun. Wear sun glasses that block ultraviolet radiation.
  • Eat healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables enhance eye health.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking can affect you eye health.
  • Use the right glasses.  Regular eye exams will ensure that your prescription stays current.
  • Use good lighting Make sure you have adequate light when reading and when performing other life functions.


Follow these tips to keep your eyesight in top shape for your retirement years.



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