Nearsightedness (Myopia)

What is nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a common type of refractive error where close objects appear clearly, but distant objects appear blurry.

How does nearsightedness develop?

Nearsightedness develops in eyes that focus images in front of the retina instead of on the retina, which results in blurred vision. This occurs when the eyeball becomes too long and prevents incoming light from focusing directly on the retina. It may also be caused by an abnormal shape of the cornea or lens.

Who is at risk for nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness can affect both children and adults. The condition affects about 25 percent of Americans. Nearsightedness is often diagnosed in children between 8 and 12 years of age and may worsen during the teen years. Little change may occur between ages 20 to 40, but sometimes nearsightedness may worsen with age. People whose parents are nearsighted may be more likely to get the condition.

What are the signs and symptoms of nearsightedness?

Some of the signs and symptoms of nearsightedness include:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting
  • Difficulty seeing distant objects, such as highway signs

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