What Is Myopia (Nearsightedness)?


Myopia is also known as nearsightedness. It is a most occurring eye condition that makes focusing on things in the distance difficult. It is quite hard to look at distant things such as highway signs unless you are just a few feet away but convenient to read a book up pretty close. The chances of having myopia are also called nearsighted. It is quite a common situation that your eye specialist mostly fixes it with contact lenses, eyeglasses, or even eye surgery. Therefore, things that are quite close will likely seem clear perfectly. Individuals might treat myopia just by wearing corrective lenses like contacts or glasses, or going for laser surgery.

An optometrist might examine myopia. Myopia is a deflective error that means that your eye is not able to refract or bend light properly. Your eye does not focus on the light that gets in properly so the objects in the distance seem unclear and blurry. Myopia is quite common. The American Optometric Association evaluates that in the United States, it might affect almost 30% of the people. There are various kinds of myopia. Following are the kinds in detail:

Simple myopia

The eye is healthy otherwise in simple myopia. Wearing contact lenses or glasses might correct the problem that an individual is facing with their vision easily.

High myopia

High myopia is quite a severe kind of myopia. It happens when an individual forms nearsightedness at a quite young age that might get worse as they get older. Therefore, high myopia might raise the chance of an individual having certain other conditions of the eye such as cataracts, detachment, or glaucoma.

Pathological myopia

Individuals with degenerative or pathological myopia will have increasing eye conditions. The eye will have problems also that might affect the retina, like:

  • Retinal atrophy, in which parts of the retina do not work or have wasted
  • Lattice degeneration is a kind of retinal thinning
  • Foster-Fuchs’ spot is a kind of scarring over your retina that might lead to blind spots

Pathological myopia might also lead to the loss of vision that contact lenses or glasses cannot correct. Myopia happens when your eyeball is bigger than normal or when the cornea is more abrupt than average. Nearsightedness might lead to light focusing right into the retina instead of on its surface directly. Someone having nearsightedness might squint noticeably when trying to look at things in the distance. They might also sit quite close to the screen of a TV or bring books pretty close to their eyes while reading. Myopia needs vision correction, mostly in the form of contact lenses or eyeglasses. Refractive surgery like LASIK might also treat nearsightedness.

However, myopia is getting a lot of attention because the occurrence seems to be rising significantly. Some countries look at nearsightedness as either a public health problem or an epidemic. While in the United States, the occurrence of myopia is increasing as much as around 40 percent in the past 30 years. In a few countries, like China, the occurrence of myopia approaches almost 80 percent of the people. (1)

1Myopia Symptoms

myopia Symptoms
myopia Symptoms

The chances of seeing things and images blur at more distant places. You might also notice a few symptoms such as:

  • Squinting
  • Headache
  • Eye fatigue especially when you are trying to look at objects more than at distant places
  • Eyestrain

Children having myopia sometimes have trouble while reading the book or blackboard at school. Having blurry vision when you are looking at things that are far away is the biggest symptom of myopia. If an individual starts to suffer from such symptoms, they must talk or visit an optometrist who might help to find whether or not they are suffering from myopia. The optometrist might suggest contact lenses or glasses to correct such issues. If a person with myopia is more advanced, an optometrist may recommend surgery. The signs and symptoms of myopia mostly go away after proper treatment with contact lenses or eyeglasses.

Eye fatigue and headaches might last longer than a week or maybe two as you get yourself adjusting to your new contact lenses or eyeglass prescription. If you are having myopia, you might notice that:

  • Close items are clear
  • Faraway objects look fuzzy or blurry
  • Tiredness while driving, looking at something more than a few feet apart, and playing sports

Some other symptoms of nearsightedness to look for in your children consist of:

  • Grabbing objects pretty close to your face
  • Poor grades at school
  • Shortening of attention span

Many cases of myopia are not severe and easily controllable with contact lenses, eyeglasses, or refractive surgery. Therefore, in rare cases more serious disorders form.