Nearsightedness, or myopia, occurs when light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This is caused by a cornea that is steeper, or an eye that is longer, than a normal eye. Nearsighted people typically see well up close, but have difficulty seeing far away. As a result, someone with myopia tends to squint when viewing far away objects.
Nearsightedness affects males and females equally, and those with a family history of nearsightedness are more likely to develop it. Nearsightedness often develops in school-aged kids or teenagers, and progresses during the growth years, requiring frequent changes in glasses or contact lenses. It usually stops progressing as growth is completed in the early twenties. Most eyes with nearsightedness are entirely healthy, but a small number of people with myopia develop a form of retinal degeneration.
Signs and Symptoms
Blurry vision distance is the primary symptom associated with nearsightedness. Oftentimes a person with nearsightedness can see more clearly in the distance when squinting.
Treatment depends on several factors such as the patient’s age, activities, and occupation. Vision can corrected with glasses, contacts, or surgery. Refractive procedures such as LASIK can be considered for adults when their prescription has remained stable for at least one year.