Myopia

Myopia is a disorder that falls into the category of refractive errors (along with astigmatism and hypermetropia). In common terms, myopia manifests itself as blurred distance vision, while near vision is not a problem.

How can you tell if you have myopia?

It’s easy to find out whether or not you have myopia. Among the main symptoms associated with this refractive error are:

  • Inability to see clearly objects at distance
  • Frequent need to squint when looking at distance
  • Headaches and eye discomfort
  • Difficulty seeing at night or in poorly lit areas
  • The need to get as close as possible to an object to distinguish its features and details

What treatments are available: myopia surgery, contact lenses or glasses?

Although myopia is a disorder that can be corrected in the long term with specially designed lenses to improve vision, ophthalmologic technology has advanced and offers a range of laser procedures to remove both the glasses and the refractive error. These safe procedures are performed by the specialist and can be:

  • RelEX Smile Diopter Reduction – is the newest innovation in laser myopia correction. It is performed without a flap (corneal flap) and without removal of the corneal epithelium. It allows myopia correction up to -10 diopters. The procedure is minimally invasive, painless and the patient regains clear vision immediately after the surgery.

  • Diopter reduction with lens implant – this surgery is recommended for high diopters and is similar to cataract surgery. The procedure is short, between 5 and 10 minutes, and is performed under local anesthetic. For 45 days after the procedure, it is recommended to administer eye drops and wash the eyes daily with boiled and cooled water or saline.
  • Prescription of glasses – the most affordable solution for vision correction is still wearing a pair of glasses. Lenses are prescribed by a specialist following an examination. The disadvantage of this option is the need to wear glasses all the time and the impossibility of carrying out a number of activities.
  • Contact lenses – this option is especially effective if you no longer wish to wear glasses for purely aesthetic reasons. In this case, it is important how the lenses are applied and how they are stored overnight in a sterile medium using a specific solution.

What to expect after myopia surgery?

If myopia correction using laser technology is chosen, the period after myopia surgery is important. Most of the time, recovery is immediate, but in the first hours and days after the surgery, the following symptoms appear:

  • Dry eyes – this effect is perfectly normal following eye surgery. As a rule, the doctor will prescribe eye drops to reduce the sensation of dry eyes.
  • Discomfort – on a case-by-case basis, the patient may experience discomfort after the procedure, which will persist for several days. If the problem does not go away on its own, a specialist should be consulted.
  • Difficulty seeing at night – as with the symptoms mentioned above, this problem should go away by itself in a few days or weeks.
  • Inability to drive – although there are cases where the patient feels excellent after the surgery, it is recommended to avoid using a personal car for their own safety and that of others.

Myopia in children

Myopia affects about 5% of preschoolers, 9% of schoolchildren and 30% of teenagers, and the rates are rising. That’s because most of the time, children are at home, doing activities involving the phone or computer.

Children are more likely to develop this ophthalmological disorder if their parents are also myopic.

Symptoms of myopia in children

The symptoms of myopia in children are similar to those present in adults. As a parent, you should watch out for the following signs:

  • The child complains that can’t see clearly
  • Complains that can’t see well at a distance (e.g. at the blackboard at school)
  • Squint to see better
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Complains of frequent headaches

The importance of preventive ophthalmological examinations

Miopia la copii

Dr. Holhos’ team recommends a control every 6 months until the age of 2, or at least a control until the age of 3.

But there are situations where your child may need pediatric examinations earlier or more frequently. For example, if your baby was born prematurely and has diabetic retinopathy, they are more likely to develop a severe form of myopia. Other situations in which regular eye screening in children is recommended are:

Complications of myopia in children

Treating myopia in its early stages is extremely important. Those who do not receive treatment or receive it later than they should, risk later social, intellectual, professional and psychological difficulties. A study by Orbis International shows that blurred vision can affect children’s academic performance, prevent them from taking part in certain activities and integrating into certain groups, creating frustration, anxiety and even depression.

Furthermore, children with myopia may develop other eye diseases. One of these is retinal detachment, which occurs when the retina separates from the back of the eye. If a surgery for retinal detachment is not performed urgently, the child risks going blind. Other vision problems associated with severe myopia include:

Treating myopia in children

Treatment options for myopic children are glasses and contact lenses. The aim is to improve the quality of vision and prevent the refractive error from worsening.

  • Myopia glasses can be worn all the time or only when needed so that the patient can see at a distance.
  • Contact lenses are a good option especially if the patient is involved in sports activities. Although there is no age limit for using them, the child should already tolerate eye drops and be able to practice good contact lens hygiene. This is to prevent eye infections. If the patient experiences eye pain or redness while wearing contact lenses, contact the ophthalmologist immediately.

Laser surgery is not an option for patients who have not yet reached the age of 18 because the diopters are not yet stabilized.

As much time spent outdoors as possible is beneficial for myopic children. By balancing screen time with outdoor time, you can reduce the worsening of your child’s myopia and protect its vision as it develops.

If you notice signs of myopia in children around you, be sure to recommend a pediatric examination to parents. The Dr. Holhoș ophthalmology network, present in Cluj-Napoca, Mediaș, Sibiu, Alba-Iulia and Turda, has state-of-the-art equipment, specially developed for non-invasive ophthalmological screening. The technology is called Plusoptix, and testing is performed from 1 meter away. It’s all in the form of play, so children feel safe throughout the procedure.

References: WedMD, Mayo Clinic.

Text medically reviewed by Dr. Teodor Holhoș, Ophthalmic Surgeon
Written by Dr. Holhos Team
Diseases

Nystagmus is the eye condition where the eyes make repetitive and uncontrollable movements. Discover other symptoms and treatment options.

Color vision deficiency, also known as dyschromatopsia, is a general term referring to various vision disorders characterized by a deficiency in color perception.

“Flying flies” are most often harmless and represent a normal stage in the aging process. Find out what the causes are and how you can reduce the symptoms.

Ocular allergies occur as a reaction of the body to an allergen, causing inflammation and itching in the eyes. The most common ocular allergies are seasonal.

Ophthalmic migraine is most common in the 40s. It manifests itself in visual impairment and even temporary blindness.

Keratitis, also known as “corneal ulcer”, is an inflammation of the cornea. If detected early, the ophthalmological disorder is easy to treat and heals quickly.

Diplopia is an ophthalmological disease in which you see two images of the same thing. The condition can affect anyone, but is more common after the age of 60.

Xanthelasma is a member of the xanthomas family and represents fatty deposits in the skin cells around the eyes. It is visible as yellow, harmless bumps.

Colorblind people perceive colors differently from most people. Most of the time, this ophthalmological disorder makes it difficult to distinguish between certain colors.

Epiphora is an ophthalmological disorder manifested by excessive tearing of the eyes. Most of the time, it is not severe and disappears on its own. However, if you are experiencing this and the problem persists, we recommend that you make an appointment for an ophthalmological examination. Treatment can be different, depending on the cause of the epiphora.

If you notice a yellow spot on the white of your eye, you are most likely dealing with pinguecula. The ophthalmological disorder is not severe, but the symptoms can be uncomfortable. Find out how to treat pinguecula and, more importantly, how you can prevent it.

Entropion is the ophthalmological disorder in which the eyelid of the eye turns inwards. It is different from ectropion, where the eyelid turns outwards. It most often occurs in older people and usually only affects the lower eyelid.

It is possible that you may also be experiencing ocular toxoplasmosis without knowing it. This retinal disorder is extremely common in our century and is manifested by eye discomfort and blurred vision.

Ectropion is the ophthalmic disorder in which the eyelid and eyelashes pull away from the cornea, and reorient outwards.

One of the most common types of headache is headache of ocular origin. It occurs as a result of an ophthalmological disorder.

Blepharitis is an ophthalmological disorder that manifests itself by inflammation of the eyelids. At the base of the eyelids, the patient notices small crusts formed by solidified oil particles or bacteria that collect in the crease at the corner of the eye.

Uveitis is an ophthalmological disorder of the uveal tract, manifested by changes in vision and eye pain.

Among the most common ophthalmological disorders is hordeolum. This is popularly known as an “stye” and is an infection of the eyelids.

The drooping eyelid is known in medical terms as “palpebral ptosis”. It manifests itself by narrowing the visual slit of one or both eyes, creating aesthetic and functional discomfort.

Amblyopia is a vision problem, popularly known as “lazy eye”. This disorder can occur in one or both eyes, and studies show that around 3% of the population suffer from this eye disease.

The sensation of “dry eyes” or “tired eyes” is known in medical terms as “dry keratoconjunctivitis” or “xerophthalmia”, and refers to a dysfunction of the tear film.

Strabismus, also known as “crossed-eyes” or “crossed vision”, is an ophthalmological disorder in which the visual axis of the eyes is not aligned. This causes one eye to deviate when it needs to look at a fixed point.

Conjunctivitis is one of the most common ophthalmological disorders. It can occur in adults, children and babies.

Chalazion is manifested by inflammation of the upper or lower eyelid. It is one of the most common ophthalmological disorders, and occurs when the secretion of sebaceous glands in the eye is blocked.

Macular degeneration involves deterioration of the macula and therefore of the quality of central vision. This disease does not affect peripheral vision and therefore cannot lead to complete blindness.

Hypermetropia affects the ability to see nearby objects. You may be able to see distant objects clearly, but closer objects, even words in a book, are usually out of focus. Hypermetropia occurs when the eye does not focus light properly on the retina (the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye).

Myopia is a disorder that falls into the category of refractive errors (along with astigmatism and hypermetropia). In common terms, myopia manifests itself as blurred distance vision, while near vision is not a problem.

Astigmatism, like myopia and hypermetropia, is a refractive error. In general terms, the disorder manifests itself in blurred, fuzzy vision, regardless of the distance to objects, surfaces.

Presbyopia is an age-related disorder characterized by decreased near vision. It usually appears around the age of 40.

Cataract is a common ophthalmological disorder that causes progressive loss of vision through loss of lens transparency. Studies show that about 50% of the population loses their vision due to this disorder.

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