Posted September 25, 2017
Over 30 percent of Americans are affected by myopia, also called nearsightedness. It’s a vision condition that impacts how well people can see close up. Some people have mild nearsightedness or struggle to see clearly only at night, but others have a severe condition that can lead to long-term vision loss. Currently, doctors treat myopia with prescription eyewear or refractive surgery. Here’s the latest news about a new laser eye surgery that can correct nearsightedness.
Myopia can affect both children and adults. If you have it, usually you can read books and use your computer without any problems, but you may struggle to read signs or see people far away. This can result in squinting to see blurry objects, which can lead to headaches and eyestrain.
Researchers discovered that people with myopia have one or more of these issues:
- eyeball is longer than usual from front to back
- cornea is extra curved in proportion to eyeball length
- lens of the eye is thicker than usual
Historically, doctors have treated nearsightedness with prescription eyeglasses, contacts or refractive surgery. But recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new minimally invasive laser procedure known as SMILE, Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. During the procedure, a small piece of the cornea is removed to reshape the eye and make vision clearer.
In other countries, SMILE is used on patients with astigmatism, and it is being adapted for presbyopia, also called farsightedness.