Vision with Myopia

A person with nearsightedness can see close objects clearly, but may have trouble seeing objects from a distance – like a road sign, blackboard, or face across the room. It’s a common condition, experts believe that at least 33% of people are nearsighted in the United States.

What Causes Nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness or myopia happens when the eye has a long shape, which causes light rays to focus too far in front of the retina, making distance vision difficult.

Like farsightedness, myopia can be inherited. It is often discovered when children are 8 to 12 years old. During the teenage years, when the body is growing rapidly, nearsightedness can get worse. Typically, between ages 20 and 40 there is little change.

Symptoms of Nearsightedness

An eye care professional can diagnose nearsightedness with a simple eye exam. The most common symptoms of nearsightedness include:

  • Blurred distance vision
  • Frequent squinting of eyes
  • Eye strain or headaches from trying to focus

Treatments for Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness is easily corrected by refocusing the light rays onto the retina of the eye. This is commonly done through:

  • Eyeglasses and contact lenses: the simplest treatment option chosen by most patients with nearsightedness.
  • Orthokeratology - an innovative process that uses customized shaping lenses to gently correct your vision while you sleep so you can enjoy clear vision while you’re awake
  • Surgery: Surgical options are also available. These procedures use laser technology or manual incisions to remove small amounts of tissue from the cornea.
Photo courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.

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