What You Should Know about Nearsightedness or Myopia

Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, is a prevalent vision condition affecting millions worldwide. In recent years, the prevalence of myopia has increased significantly, making it a growing public health concern. This blog post will delve into what myopia is, its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options. By understanding the nature of this condition, we can take the necessary steps to maintain our eye health and vision quality.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is a refractive error that occurs when the eye cannot focus light accurately on the retina. It results in blurred vision when looking at distant objects, while objects up close remain clear. The eyeball is typically longer than usual in a myopic eye, or the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) is too curved. Consequently, the light entering the eye must be focused correctly, and images appear blurry when viewed from afar.

What Causes Myopia or Nearsightedness?

The exact cause of this condition is not entirely understood, but it is believed to be influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some studies suggest that nearsightedness can be inherited, with a higher risk of developing the condition if one or both parents are nearsighted. Additionally, certain environmental factors, such as excessive near work (e.g., reading and computer use), may contribute to the progression of myopia, especially in children and adolescents.

What Are the Symptoms?

The primary symptom is difficulty seeing distant objects clearly, while close-up vision remains unaffected. It can manifest in various ways, such as:

  • Difficulty seeing road signs, chalkboards, or television screens
  • Squinting or partially closing the eyelids to see distant objects more clearly
  • Headaches or eye strain due to the constant effort to focus on distant objects
  • Sitting closer to screens, such as televisions or computers, to see clearly

If you or your child is experiencing these symptoms, it is essential to consult an eye care professional for a comprehensive eye examination.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Myopia

Nearsightedness is typically diagnosed through a routine eye examination, which includes a refraction assessment and other tests to determine the degree of nearsightedness. Once diagnosed, there are several treatment options available to correct myopia, including:

  1. Corrective Eyewear: Eyeglasses or contact lenses are the most common and non-invasive methods of correcting myopia. They work by altering how light enters the eye, allowing it to focus correctly on the retina.
  2. Orthokeratology (Ortho-K): This non-surgical technique involves wearing specially designed rigid gas-permeable contact lenses overnight. These lenses temporarily reshape the cornea, allowing for clearer vision during the day without eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  3. Refractive surgery: Refractive surgery: Laser-assisted surgeries, such as LASIK and PRK, can permanently reshape the cornea and correct myopia. However, these procedures are only suitable for some and carry certain risks. A thorough evaluation by an eye care professional is necessary before considering refractive surgery.


Myopia is a common vision condition that affects a significant portion of the global population. Understanding the nature of this condition, its symptoms, and available treatment options is crucial in maintaining good eye health and preserving vision quality. By taking proactive steps to manage nearsightedness and seeking timely professional advice, we can help ensure that our eyes remain in the best possible condition for years to come.

If you believe you have myopia, you should consult Fenton Family Eyecare. We can conduct a thorough eye exam to determine which solution works well for you. Schedule an appointment now!

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