Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness symptoms and Treatment

What Is nearsightedness (Myopia)?

Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common cause of blurred vision. If you are nearsighted, objects in the distance appear blurry and out of focus. You might squint or frown when trying to see distant objects clearly.

Nearsightedness is usually a variation from normal, not a disease. Less often, nearsightedness happens because of another disease or condition.

What causes nearsightedness?

Most nearsightedness is caused by a natural change in the shape of the eyeball that makes the eyeball oval rather than round. Less often, nearsightedness may be caused by a change in the cornea or the lens.

These problems cause light rays entering the eye to focus in front of the retina. Normally, light focuses directly on the retina.

Myopia is an inherited condition. It usually starts in childhood and stabilizes in your late teens or early twenties. Patients with myopia see near objects more clearly, and far objects appear blurry or even indistinguishable.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of nearsightedness is blurred vision when looking at distant objects. You may have trouble clearly seeing images or words on a blackboard, movie screen, or television. This can lead to poor school, athletic, or work performance.

You may think your child is nearsighted if he or she squints or frowns or holds books or other objects very close to his or her face. Children who are nearsighted may sit at the front of the classroom or very close to the television or movie screen. They may not be interested in sports or other activities that require good distance vision.

Normal Vision Nearsightedness (myopia)
Normal Vision

Nearsightedness
(myopia)


Source: National Eye Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health.

How is nearsightedness diagnosed?

A routine eye exam can show whether you are nearsighted. The eye exam includes questions about your eyesight and a physical exam of your eyes. Ophthalmoscopy, tonometry, a slit lamp exam, and other vision tests are also part of a routine eye exam.

Eye exams should be done for new babies and children at all well child visits. Nearsightedness most commonly begins in childhood or in the early teens (between the ages of 8 and 14), so it is usually first discovered in children of grade-school age.

Nearsightedness can be mild, moderate, or high.

How is it treated?

Eyeglasses or contact lenses can help correct nearsightedness. Surgery can also be done to change the shape of the cornea or to implant artificial lenses in the eyes to reduce or correct nearsightedness.

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