What is Nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness is a condition that affects the vision and occurs when the light that enters the eye does not focus correctly on the retina.  The light rays focus at a point which is located in front of the retina and this makes objects that are distant appear indistinct.

This condition is a refractive error of the eye.  Basically, it means that nearsighted people have a hard time seeing objects that are far away. However, people who are nearsighted can see objects near to them clearly.

Another name for this condition is myopia.

What are the Symptoms of Nearsightedness?

When a person who has nearsightedness sees objects that are far away appear blurry.  Sometimes they need to squint in order to make the objects appear clear enough to become identifiable.

First signs of nearsightedness can easily be seen in younger children or teenagers.  They may complain that they cannot see the objects that teacher is using to teach the class (such as blackboards, presentation boards, and so on). If left untreated, it will get worse over the years. People who have nearsightedness may experience headaches and eyestrain.

Often, people who are nearsighted have to change prescriptions for glasses.  This usually stops somewhere in the twenties when people stop growing.

How is Nearsightedness Treated?

The main form of treatment for nearsightedness is simply correcting the defect by wearing eye glasses.  Contact lenses may be used as well.  This helps to shift the focus of the light image so that it makes the image clearer.

Surgery is another option.  It is called LASIK surgery and involves the use of an excimer laser that will flatten the cornea and shift the focus, allowing you to see far away images clearly.

Last Reviewed:
October 10, 2016
Last Updated:
August 09, 2017