Does Myopia Worsen With Age

March 31, 2021

Young adults typically have healthy eyes and good vision. As you age, your eyes change, and your vision becomes affected. Myopia develops during childhood due to its longer axial length. This causes an inability to see distant objects. It is, therefore, essential to know how myopia affects your vision as you age.


What Is Myopia?


Myopia can be defined as nearsightedness or difficulty in seeing a distant object. A person who has myopia will see close objects clearly but have trouble seeing objects feet away. It is often characterized by:

  • Blurry vision for objects far from you

  • Eyestrain leading to headaches

  • A constant need to narrow eyelids to see things clearly

  • Difficulty seeing


Does Myopia Worsen with Age?

Myopia worsens with age. If it occurs to a child, it will likely worsen during the teenage years’ growth spurs. This is because, at that age, the body goes through rapid growth, even the eyes. During a person’s 20s, just like growth, myopia levels off.

Adults can get myopia due to visual stress or eye diseases like cataracts. Adults that spend a lot of time reading or behind a screen tend to suffer eye stress. Focusing on the eye muscles causes nearsightedness, light flashes, or sight loss.


Factors That Cause Myopia Progression


Myopia progression occurs primarily when the eye’s axial length increases. Some factors help contribute to this. They include:

  • Constant Wearing of Glasses

    • Wearing glasses constantly is a potential factor in worsening myopia. If your child has low myopia, he or she should wear glasses when necessary. Patients with low myopia do not need glasses for tasks such as reading or writing. However, moderate and high myopia require wearing glasses constantly.

  • Glasses with Full Correction

    • Wearing glasses with full correction increases myopia progression. A myopia patient with a refractive error of -2.5 diopter needs an under-corrected lens of about -22 or -2.0 diopter for optimal correction. A complete optical of -2.5 provides a more precise vision but worsens myopia.

  • Limited Outdoor Time

    • If a child spends less than 1-2 hours outside daily, it can lead to myopia’s progression. Outdoor time is essential for myopic children as the eye muscles tend to relax outdoors.

  • Prolonged Screen Time

    • Digital screens such as smartphones, computers, and television cause eyestrain. This contributes to myopia progression.

  • Genetics

    • If a parent is myopic, their child might get myopia due to the genetic contribution.


Preventing Myopia Worsening


Myopia has no cure, but you can set limits on its progression, especially for children and adults that get myopia due to eyestrain. Here are some of the tips to avoid eye strain:

  • Have limited screen time

  • Avoid reading in dim lights

  • Wear sunglasses

  • Schedule regular eye examinations

  • Decrease duration of near vision tasks

For any inquiries you may have on myopia, visit our offices at Midtown East, New York. At Eye Associates of New York, we have highly skilled optometrists that provide quality services for modern eye care and vision enhancements. Call us at (212) 650-4888 to schedule an appointment right away.

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