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What is Myopia?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common vision condition, or refractive error, that affects nearly 30 percent of the population in the United States. A refractive error means that the shape of your eye doesn’t refract the light properly, so the image you see is blurred. For our eyes to be able to see, light rays must be bent or “refracted” so they can focus directly on the retina, the nerve layer that lines the back of the eye. Together, the cornea and the lens refract light rays. The retina receives the picture formed by these light rays and sends the image to the brain through the optic nerve.

Myopia occurs when the curvature of the cornea is too steep or the eyeball is too long, causing light entering the eye to be focused in front of the retina, rather than directly on the retina. Near objects are seen clearly, but objects in the distance appear blurry.

What causes Myopia?

Myopia is thought to be hereditary. Since the eye continues to grow during childhood, myopia generally continues to develop over the childhood years typically stabilizing by the age of 18.

What are the Symptoms?

Difficulty seeing objects in the distance while watching television, viewing a movie or looking at the chalkboard, frequent headaches, and eye strain are common symptoms of myopia.

How is Myopia diagnosed?

Myopia is detected during a comprehensive eye exam through a test called refraction. Using a phoropter, an instrument that determines the type and measures the amount of refractive error present, your eye doctor will determine your exact prescription.

What are the treatment options?

Prescription glasses, contact lenses, and LASIK surgery (laser vision correction) are treatment options to optically correct myopia.