Do you have difficulty seeing distant objects, but see clearly up close? You may be part of the over 25% of Americans who are myopic, or nearsighted! Myopia is a refractive error of the eye, occurring when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too curved. Luckily myopia can easily be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses or Lasik eye surgery.
How we are able to see is by refraction. This is when light rays are bent as they pass through the lens and cornea and then is focused on the retina. When the eyeball is shaped too long, or there is an abnormal shape to the cornea or lens, this can prevent the light from being focused directly on the retina. This then can cause your vision to be blurry.
Nearsightedness can affect anyone, but is commonly diagnosed in children between 8 and 12 years old. It can sometimes worsen with age, but there is often little change between the ages of 20 to 40. Myopia can be hereditary, as people whose parents are nearsighted have a higher likelihood to have the condition.
If you or your children are experiencing headaches, eye strain, squinting or difficulty seeing distant objects, it’s possible that you may be struggling from the effects of being nearsighted. There’s no need to worry, your doctor can diagnose this at your comprehensive exam and will likely prescribe either contact lenses or glasses to help your vision.