What is congenital myopia? Know more about the disease that affected Ananth who impressed ISRO chairman

The exact cause of congenital myopia isn't fully known. Representative image/IANS

Blurry vision, fatigue, eyestrain, development issues... there is a plethora of health problems that those who suffer from the disease congenital myopia experience. However, none of it stopped eight-year-old Ananth from wondering wide-eyed about space, aliens, the Moon and more. It's this unbridled enthusiasm that impressed ISRO Chairman Dr S Somnath, following which he visited the Thiruvananthapuram boy, making headlines. If you are wondering what causes such a condition, here's what you should know.
What is congenital myopia?
Also known as infantile or juvenile myopia, it is a type of nearsightedness (a condition where distant objects appear blurry while close objects can be seen clearly). It often occurs in infants, young children, or teenagers, though not exclusively in these age groups. Even when diagnosed during childhood, it can persist into adulthood and may even develop later in life, at times. Unlike acquired myopia, which develops later in life due to factors like eye strain or genetics, congenital myopia is present at birth or develops very early in childhood.

What causes the disease?
The exact cause of congenital myopia isn't fully known. However, it's believed to be influenced by many genetic and environmental factors. Children with parents who are nearsighted are more likely to develop congenital myopia themselves.
Can it be prevented?
Preventing congenital myopia may not be possible as it's influenced quite a bit by genetic factors. Early detection and management are the best steps that can be taken to help those suffering from it. This can prevent potential complications like amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (crossed eyes). 
How is it treated?
Treatment typically involves corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses, to improve vision. In some cases, orthokeratology or refractive surgery may be considered as children get older and their eyes stop growing. Regular eye exams are important to monitor vision changes and ensure appropriate management.

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