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About Nearsightedness

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Nearsightedness - myopia - is a common condition that affects vision. If you are nearsighted, you are able to see objects that are nearby clearer than objects that are far away. This refractive error is caused by an eyeball that is too long or the cornea is curved too steeply. These factors result in light being focused in front of the retina, leading to blurred vision.

The symptoms of nearsightedness include:
  • Far off objects appear blurry or out of focus
  • Difficulty with driving or playing sports
  • Squinting to see clearly
  • Eyestrain: A dull pain, or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Headaches

Nearsightedness affects roughly 40% of Americans. The rate of nearsightedness in school-age children has been rising in recent years. It is believed that a lack of time spent outdoors, or doing activities near the eye (such as smartphone use) can cause nearsightedness to develop. While some cases of nearsightedness level off as a child develops, the condition may also get worse with age.

For most people, nearsightedness is inherited through genetics, meaning that if your parents are nearsighted, you are more likely to be nearsighted yourself.

Nearsightedness is usually diagnosed through eye exam tests performed by an eye care provider, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist. If you notice that you or your child is experiencing vision problems, or are unable to perform daily tasks, talk to an eye care specialist. Even if your symptoms of nearsightedness are mild, the condition can lead to complications such as impaired safety, persistent headaches, and eyestrain if left untreated.

Treatment Options

Treatment for nearsightedness will depend on your age and the severity of your condition. Below are common options to reduce and manage the symptoms of nearsightedness.

During your appointment, talk to your eye care provider about treatment options, and the best plan for you.

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