Short-sightedness (myopia) is a common form of ametropia and often has no clinical significance. It can occur as early as childhood and can be treated well with glasses, contact lenses or surgery. Over time, myopia can get better or worsen on its own. Dangerous sequelae rarely occur. Read all about myopia and its treatment in homeopathy here.
ICD codes for this disease: H52
Myopia is a congenital or acquired defective vision of the eye. Those who are short-sighted can usually still see well up close, while objects in the distance appear blurred (in the case of far-sighted people it is exactly the opposite). A short-sighted person does not generally see worse. At close range, it can even be superior to a person with normal vision.
How pronounced the ametropia is is measured in diopters (dpt). Someone with a negative reading is nearsighted, and the higher the digit after the minus, the more so. A measured value of -12 dpt, for example, describes a high degree of myopia, i.e. severe short-sightedness.
Strictly speaking, nearsightedness is usually not a disease at all. Up to a defective vision of minus six dioptres, it is only considered an anomaly, i.e. a deviation from the average value. Pathological (morbid) myopia is only present if the ametropia is severe.
How common is myopia?
The proportion of myopic people in different age groups varies. According to the Federal Statistical Office, there are almost four times as many short-sighted people up to the age of 40 as there are far-sighted people. After that, the proportion of long-sighted people increases. From the age of 50, almost twice as many people are farsighted than shortsighted. Thus, farsightedness is more likely to occur in older people, while nearsightedness is more common in children and young people. Men are less likely to have ametropia than women.
Myopia Simplex And Myopia Maligna
Experts distinguish myopia simplex (simple short-sightedness) from myopia maligna (malignant short-sightedness):
Myopia simplex is also known as school myopia. It begins in school, usually around the age of ten or twelve. It can deteriorate in the years that follow, only to usually remain stable from the age of 20 to 25. Most of those affected achieve dioptres of at most -6 dpt with this form of short-sightedness. In a small proportion, the short-sightedness deteriorates to -12 dpt and does not stabilize until the age of 30.
Myopia maligna, on the other hand, also progresses into adulthood. It therefore has real disease value. Consequential damage can also occur, such as tissue damage with the formation of small scars or holes in the retina , which can also lead to retinal detachment. Glaucoma (green star) can also occur- as can staphyloma (bulging of the dermis).
Myopia In Children
Children of myopic parents are more likely to suffer from myopia than children of normal-sighted parents. This suggests that myopia also has a hereditary component.
Short-sighted parents should therefore have their children examined by an ophthalmologist as early as possible. This can already diagnose an existing myopia in children in the first year of life. An eye exam should take place no later than in preschool age. Good eyesight is important for the healthy development of the child. In addition, playing outside and driving can be dangerous with untreated nearsightedness.
The ophthalmologist can discuss with you whether glasses or contact lenses are suitable as visual aids for your child. Properly adjusted glasses do not worsen the eyes.
Special glasses are available to delay the progression of myopia in childhood . They can no longer reverse the ametropia, but studies have shown that they slow the increase in myopia by around 60 percent.
Short-sighted eyes are designed for close-up vision and sometimes even see more clearly in this range than people with normal vision. Short-sighted people cannot focus their eyes on an object in the distance. So it appears blurry. The distance at which a short-sighted person can see well depends on their visual acuity: Those affected with a diopter number of -1 dpt can see objects up to one meter away, people with -12 dpt can only see objects about eight centimeters away.
Nearsightedness can cause other symptoms in addition to impaired distance vision: Over the course of life, the vitreous body in the eye liquefies. This often happens faster with myopia than with people with normal vision. If streaks swim around in the vitreous body, those affected can see shadows in their field of vision.
In addition, severe short-sightedness can promote other diseases. For example, the aqueous humor can drain more poorly in those affected. If this increases the pressure inside the eye, open-angle glaucoma (a form of glaucoma) can develop, which damages the optic nerve. In malignant myopia, the retina can be stretched so much that it detaches more easily (retinal detachment). As a result, vision can suddenly deteriorate.
Myopia: Causes And Risk Factors
In the case of ametropia, the refractive power of the eye does not match the distance of the retina.
How a healthy eye works
For a better understanding, the eye can be compared to a camera: The objective corresponds to the cornea and the lens. The retina can be compared to film. Incoming light rays are refracted by the cornea and lens and bundled in one point. At this point, a sharp image is formed. In order for us to perceive it, this point must be on the retinal plane.
In order to be able to see objects both close and far away clearly, the eyes must change their refractive power (accommodate). To do this, the shape of the eye lens, which is responsible for the refraction of light rays, is changed using muscle power: If the eye lens is stretched, it becomes flatter – its refractive power decreases. Then it can clearly image distant objects. A less tightly stretched, i.e. more spherical lens, on the other hand, has a greater refractive power – close objects can now be imaged sharply.
What goes wrong with myopia
In the case of short-sightedness, there is a disproportion between the refractive power of the eye and the length of the eyeball: When looking into the distance, the rays of light do not meet on the retina, even when the lens is relaxed, but a little in front of it, so that they only produce a blurred image.
There can be different reasons for the mismatch between refractive power and axial length in myopia:
- Axis myopia is most common. The eyeball is longer than in people with normal vision and the retina is therefore further away from the cornea and lens. An eyeball that is only one millimeter longer can cause a myopia of -3 dpt. cause.
- In the rare case of refractive myopia, the eyeball is of normal length, but the refractive power of the cornea and lens is too strong (for example, because the radius of the cornea is unusually small or the refractive power of the lens has changed due to diabetes or a cataract).
Risk Factors For Myopia
There are some diseases that make myopia more common. This is the case, for example, with diabetes (diabetes mellitus) when the blood sugar levels are poorly adjusted. When blood sugar returns to normal, myopia can disappear again.
A form of cataracts (the so-called nuclear cataract) can also promote myopia. It occurs more frequently in older people: Even before they notice the clouding of the lens, they can sometimes suddenly read again without reading glasses. Cataracts can temporarily improve near vision due to the short-sightedness that also occurs, but long-distance vision deteriorates.
In some disease syndromes, (severe) short-sightedness often occurs. The diseases are partly genetic and can be inherited. These include, for example, Marfan syndrome and Down syndrome. In addition to myopia, symptoms also appear in other organs.
Children born prematurely are also more prone to myopia.
In some cases, myopia is the result of an accident in which the lens fibers have become loose or torn.
Myopia: Investigations And Diagnosis
If you feel that you are short-sighted, you should make an appointment with an eye doctor (ophthalmologist).
First, the doctor will talk to you about your medical history. Among other things, he can ask the following questions:
- When did you notice a deterioration in vision?
- Did this happen suddenly or gradually?
- When does the loss of vision bother you the most?
- How does the visual impairment manifest itself (e.g. as blurred vision or color vision impairment)?
- When was the last time your eyes were examined?
- Do you suffer from other diseases such as diabetes?
- Are there other people in your family who are myopic?
- Are there hereditary diseases in your family?
The doctor looks into your eyes with a bright light and a magnifying glass. He also uses a device to measure the refractive power of each eye. To do this, he asks you to look at a distant object (often a colored cross) in the device.
In a further examination, your eye doctor will ask you to read a series of differently sized numbers or letters on the wall while you alternately keep your left and right eyes closed. Sometimes the doctor holds different glasses in front of the eye to be examined in order to see, this sharpens the view.
Sometimes it is necessary to widen the eyes with special eye drops before the examination. Afterwards your vision is still very blurry for a while and you are therefore not allowed to drive on the road for a few hours.
A comprehensive eye examination includes other methods. In order to check spatial vision, for example, the ophthalmologist shows you maps where an object appears to be protruding from the map. You must also indicate whether you perceive a box pattern as straight or curved. To rule out color blindness, you need to recognize numbers or patterns of different colored dots.
Since myopia sometimes leads to increased intraocular pressure, the doctor recommends a corresponding measurement.
Since nearsightedness can cause further eye changes, those affected should be examined by their ophthalmologist about once a year.
Myopia can be improved using a variety of methods. Glasses or contact lenses compensate for the ametropia. In certain cases, an operation can even cure myopia. If several methods are combined, even severe myopia can often be treated well.
Glasses For Myopia
Short-sightedness can be improved with “minus lenses” in glasses: The rays of light entering the eye, which in the case of myopia meet in front of the retina, are scattered by the lens in such a way that they only meet directly on the retina. In addition, the lens is slightly thicker at the edge than in the middle. Thanks to modern technology, spectacle lenses can now be ground very thin overall.
Up to a vision of -8 dpt, glasses are the most common visual aid. It offers a number of advantages:
- If the myopia changes, glasses can be readjusted at any time. This treatment is therefore particularly suitable for children whose eyeballs change as they grow.
- Glasses are also suitable for people who need a different setting for reading than for distance reading. With varifocals, both needs can be met in one lens.
- Glasses are very easy on the eye.
Contact Lenses For Myopia
Contact lenses are an alternative to glasses for many short-sighted people. They are small, transparent lenses made of soft or hard plastic. An ophthalmologist can determine which type of contact lens is suitable for you personally.
The advantages of contact lenses are:
- Contact lenses are invisible.
- Unlike glasses, they cannot fog up.
- Since they are placed directly on the eye, they correct visual acuity throughout the field of vision – one reason why athletes in particular prefer to wear contact lenses over glasses.
- In the case of pronounced short-sightedness, the contact lenses do not reduce the image – in contrast to the strong negative lenses of glasses. This effect is relevant from a visual acuity of -3 dpt.
Like glasses, contact lenses can be easily adjusted to a new prescription. Contact lenses with different prescriptions (similar to varifocal glasses) are available for short-sighted people who are beginning to experience presbyopia. However, these are not suitable for every form of myopia.
Contact lenses require good hygiene. To prevent eye infections, they need to be cleaned regularly. In addition, contact lenses may not be worn indefinitely. The eye is less well supplied with oxygen when wearing a contact lens. Some people’s eyes react irritated (e.g. after wearing them for too long, with dust in the air or dry heating air) – they redden and hurt.
Contact Lenses For The Night
In certain forms of short-sightedness, special rigid (hard) contact lenses can be worn at night. They exert a certain force on the cornea, so that after a while the cornea flattens out. This compensates for myopia, even during the day. However, the effect wears off over the course of the day, so that you may have to insert lenses or put on glasses later in the day.
These special nighttime lenses can be an alternative for myopic people who cannot tolerate contact lenses during the day, for example due to dust or irritants.
Surgical Treatment Of Myopia
There are also surgical treatment methods for myopia:
For example, the eyes can be lasered in the case of short-sightedness. The cornea is permanently flattened with a laser. Depending on the precise methodology, a distinction is made between different procedures. They are called photorefractory keratectomy (PRK), LASEK. However, laser eye surgery is not suitable for everyone. It can only be used up to a myopia of -6 dpt. In the best case, however, the doctor can use it to cure myopia.
Corrective lenses implanted in the eye can compensate for myopia. This procedure is usually only used in the case of severe short-sightedness, as it can limit the eyes’ ability to accommodate – i.e. their ability to adapt from near to far vision and vice versa.
In some cases of nearsightedness, the patient’s own lens is replaced with an artificial lens. The operation then resembles a star operation.
Each of these operations involves certain risks that the doctor should discuss with the patient in advance. Cortisone drops after surgery are designed to prevent scars from forming that limit vision. If exposed nerve endings are damaged during the operation, pain is possible.
Chances Of Success Of Myopia Operation
Whether myopia can really be cured by surgery varies from person to person. It is also not possible to predict with 100% certainty before the procedure what the outcome will be. The affected person may still need visual aids after the procedure. If the eyesight deteriorates after the operation or if presbyopia occurs, visual aids are also necessary.
Myopia Treatment In Homeopathy
Homeopathic treatments is the treatment which is given to the patients by using a smaller amount of drugs. Homeopathic treatments are considered the safe and effective treatment for curing any disease. The homeopathic treatment doesn’t have any side effects as they are made using natural products.
Homeopathic medicine helps in reducing the progression of myopia. Homeopathic treatment provides supportive treatment for myopia. You can use the various homeopathic treatments for curing myopia. They are as follows:
Ruta – For Myopia with Severe Headache
Ruta is one of the homeopathic medicines used for the treatment of myopia. Ruta acts on the ciliary muscles which improves the accommodation in myopes. This leads to focusing light on the retina instead of focusing in front of the retina even when you do the near work. Whenever you suffer from headaches while you do any nearsighted work, then you can take the Ruta medicine.
Physostigma – One Of The Most Effective Medicines For Myopia
Physostigma is another treatment used for curing myopia. These medicines act on the ciliary muscles, causing the light to focus on the retina. Physostigma is considered the safest and most effective medicine for curing myopia. If there is a pain in the orbit of the eyes or if there is an irritation in the eyes then you can take Physostigma.
Oleum Animale – Leading Medicine For Myopia
Oleum Animale is another homeopathic medicine used for curing myopia. It can be taken in the situation when there is a fluttering of the eyelids along with the myopia. It can also be taken in a situation if anyone has the problem of blurred vision as it helps in curing myopia.
Viola Odorata – For Myopia with Pain In Eyes
Viola Odorata is one of the effective homeopathic medicines for curing myopia. These medicines make objects located far away appear clear. It can be taken in a situation when you’re having myopia along with the pain in the eyes. So, if you’re having the symptoms of myopia, you can take the medicine of viola odorata.
Phosphorus – Effective Medicine For Myopia
Phosphorus is considered as the effective homeopathic medicine used for the treatment of myopia. Eye strain, weak eyesight, itching in the eyes along with headaches are the signs when phosphorus is to be given. It is considered as the most effective medicine as it makes the light focus on the retina, thus reducing the blurred vision.
Use the above mentioned myopia treatment in homeopathy only after consulting your doctor.
Myopia: Eye Training Helpful?
There is no evidence that myopia can be prevented or improved through eye training. This erroneous belief assumes that the eyes must be consciously exercised and relaxed in order to recover from their ametropia. In truth, however, our eye muscles are in the best training condition even without special exercise. Because the different muscles partially move the eyes in opposite directions, some muscles are always relaxed. Under no circumstances can myopia be positively influenced by eye training.
Myopia: Course And Prognosis
Nearsightedness often develops in childhood. As it grows, it can both improve and deteriorate. In most cases, myopia hardly changes after the age of 20.
With increasing age, the eyes are generally less able to accommodate. The ability of the lenses to optimally adjust to long-distance and close-up vision starts to decrease from around the age of 25. From the age of 40, many people eventually become presbyopic and need reading glasses.
Since myopia can promote other eye diseases, the eyes should be examined regularly by an ophthalmologist.