Nearsightedness, also called myopia, is a condition where you have trouble seeing things that are far away.

In people who are nearsighted, the cornea is too steeply curved for the length of the eye, causing light rays to focus in front of the retina. Distant objects appear blurred or fuzzy because the light rays are not in focus by the time they reach the retina.

Objects that are near can be seen clearly.

Nearsightedness Causes

About 1 in 4 Americans is nearsighted.

Contrary to popular belief, this condition is not caused by reading at an early age, prolonged reading, reading in the dark, watching TV too closely, wearing glasses too strong, or wearing glasses too weak.

Nearsightedness tends to run in families, so it is most likely inherited. It tends to start in the early teens and increases as the eye grows in length in puberty.

Nearsightedness Treatments

If you notice that objects far away are blurry, you will need to see an ophthalmologist or an optometrist for an eye exam. Based on that exam, he or she may prescribe spectacle (glasses) correction or contact lens correction.

Both glasses and contact lenses have advantages and disadvantages. Your provider will work with you to determine which will best suit your condition and your lifestyle. If you use contact lenses, you will likely need glasses as well.

For some patients, LASIK surgery is an option to correct nearsightedness and eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses for distance vision.