What is Nearsightedness (Myopia) - Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

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What is nearsightedness?

Myopia, often referred to as nearsightedness, is one of the common refractive errors associated with vision problems. It’s the inability to see objects at a distance but objects up close are clear (hence the name - nearsighted). 

What causes nearsightedness?

Myopia is the result of improper focusing caused by an irregularly shaped eyeball. It happens when the eyeball is too long and the light entering the eye is not focused directly on the retina. Blurriness in your vision is caused by the light focusing before it reaches the retina. Myopia can also be caused by an abnormally shaped cornea and/or lens.

Symptoms 

  • Difficulty seeing distant objects
  • Constantly squinting to see up ahead
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches

Treatments

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses on top of notebook in a Phil & Sebastian coffee shop

Eyeglasses are the easiest and safest way to correct nearsightedness. A comprehensive eye exam with an Eye Care Professional (Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) will identify the refractive error and prescribe the corrective lenses needed to address the problem. 

Contact Lenses

A girl putting prescription contact lenses on

Contact lenses are a thin, plastic lens that rests directly on the eye to correct vision deficiencies. They have the added benefits of a wider field of view, moving freely without worrying about damaged glasses, and no obstructions to the face.


Proper care and attention are required to ensure the safety of the eyes. They may not be the best option for everyone and there are certain restrictions that could prevent the use of contact lenses. It’s always best to consult with an Eye Care Professional to outline the best course of action.

Refractive Surgery

Elderly gentleman getting an eye assessment for refractive surgery on his eyes

Nowadays refractive surgery is a safe and viable method to correct vision problems. Refractive surgeries are potentially a permanent solution to deficiencies in vision by reshaping the cornea.

In most cases, this will eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. There are a variety of refractive surgeries available. Booking a consultation with an Eye Care Professional will outline the best option and the next steps to move forward.

Common Refractive Errors