Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a very common condition that affects up to one in three persons in the U.S. Two of the most frequently used methods for correcting nearsightedness are glasses and contact lenses, although these don’t provide a permanent solution. Laser eye surgery, or more specifically LASIK surgery, can be effective at reducing the need for lenses. Orthokeratology, a technique that uses specially made contact lenses to slowly reshape the eyeball, is a less common treatment. It can be, however, an effective way of correcting nearsightedness without the need for surgery.
One of the most common ways of correcting nearsightedness is through the use of prescription glasses.Those with nearsightedness have trouble seeing objects that are far away; as a result, glasses are often needed for tasks such as driving. The benefits of glasses are that they are relatively inexpensive, usually only require a one-time fee, and can be easily removed. On the other hand, many people don’t like the appearance of glasses, and they can sometimes break easily.
Contact lenses are also commonly worn for correcting nearsightedness. Lenses work in a similar way to glasses, except that they are placed directly onto the eye. Contact lenses are usually better for sports than glasses and have a number of other benefits including that they are invisible. The downside is that lenses need to be regularly replaced, and the consumer typically must pay monthly for a new set. Contact lenses are often more popular among those with severe myopia, while glasses are sometimes preferred by people with mild eye problems.
Glasses and contact lenses are effective at correcting nearsightedness temporarily, but myopia can be partly or completely cured through surgery. There are two main types of laser eye surgery for myopia: LASIK and PRK. LASIK surgery is much more common than PRK. In LASIK eye surgery, a small flap is cut from the cornea to allow the laser to remove an area eye tissue before the flap is replaced. This changes the shape of the eye, resulting in clearer vision and a reduced need for glasses.
Another method for correcting nearsightedness is known as orthokeratology. This procedure doesn’t require surgery, which reduces the risk of complications or additional problems. Specially made contact lenses are worn to gradually change the shape of the eye. In most cases, the lenses are worn at night, thereby allowing the patient to see clearly without glasses or contacts during the day.