Visual presentation of this web site requires JavaScript. Skip ahead to the main content
Back | Print    

Nearsightedness (Myopia)

People with nearsightedness have trouble seeing objects at a distance. Their vision is clear up close, sometimes up to just inches or feet away. Beyond that, objects become fuzzy or out of focus.

Myopia interferes with lots of day-to-day activities, like driving, taking classes, sports, even recognizing friends at a distance. And it can cause serious eye strain, fatigue and headaches.

Myopia occurs when the eye is too long from front to back, or the cornea's curve is too steep. Typically, light entering the eye is focused in front of the retina instead of on it, resulting in blurry vision. Myopia often is first seen in children younger than 12. It may get worse with age until early adulthood, when it usually stabilizes.

Treating Myopia

Most nearsightedness can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. To correct myopia, a lens that is concave, or thinner at the center than at the edges, is used to direct light away from the center of the lens and move the focal point of the light back so it reaches the retina.