Nearsightedness, or myopia, is the most common vision error of the eye nowadays. This vision condition means that a person can clearly see close objects, but not far ones as well which appear blurry. The development of nearsightedness can be gradual or rapid. It often gets worse during childhood and adolescence. It is believed hereditary as it usually runs in families. Nearsightedness is diagnosed with a basic eye exam, and the condition is easy to correct by wearing prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses. A surgery can also be an option.



The symptoms can be:

  • Blurry distant items
  • Headaches
  • Need to partially close the eyelids in order to see clearly
  • Difficulty to see clearly especially when driving and during the night

The symptoms are usually noticeable during childhood, so nearsightedness is diagnosed in early school years among teens. The usual symptoms among children are:

  • Excessive blinking
  • Rubbing the eyes frequently
  • Constant squinting
  • Unaware of far items
  • Have a need to be closer to a screen or school board

It is good to visit a doctor when a person experiences some of the above mentioned symptoms, especially if the symptoms are interfering in conducting tasks or activities good enough or the quality of the vision is reduced. However, if a person experiences sudden flashes of floaters or there is a shadow covering part of the vision field, emergency medical help should be required.



The cause for nearsightedness to occur is usually too long eye or too sharply curved cornea. This condition causes light that enters the eye to focus in front of the retina rather than on the retina what leads to blurred images. Why some people have longer eyes in not known, but it is believed it can be due genetics or some environmental conditions.


Risk factors

The risk factors that can increase the chances to develop nearsightedness are:

  • History of nearsightedness in the family, especially if both parents are nearsighted
  • Lack of time outdoors
  • A lot of reading



Complications that can arise from nearsightedness can be:

  • Eyestrain-too much squinting or straining of the eyes in order to maintain focus can bring to headaches and eyestrain
  • Reduced everyday life quality-a person with nearsightedness can be unable to perform activities and tasks as well as possible and the limited vision can diminish the enjoyment
  • Jeopardized safety of the person experiencing nearsightedness as well as of the people around him/her
  • Eye problems such as retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataracts



Treatments for nearsightedness that can improve the vision can be use of corrective lenses or refractive surgery.

  • Corrective lenses include eyeglasses or contact lenses that counteract the increased curving of the cornea or the increased length of the eye
  • Refractive surgery is a procedure in which the cornea is reshaped with laser beams. The refractive surgical procedures can be:

-Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)

-Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)

-Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)

-Intraocular lens (IOL) implant


Unfortunately, the surgery is risky as there are some complications that can occur after these procedures such as: under or overcorrection, visual side effects, dry eye, infection, corneal scarring and very rarely vision loss.


Nearsightedness cannot be prevented, but the progression can be slowed down. Following the tips listed beneath can help in protection the vision:

  • Regular eye checks
  • Protect the eyes from the sun
  • Prevent eye injuries
  • Control chronic health conditions
  • Eat healthily
  • Quit smoking
  • Use right corrective lenses