Nearsightedness (Myopia)

Nearsightedness (Myopia)

What is nearsightedness?

  • Myopia, or nearsightedness, is difficulty seeing clearly in the distance, while still being able to see things clearly up close. Far away objects appear blurry and out of focus. You may have trouble reading words on a whiteboard or TV screen. However, you are still able to clearly focus on objects close to your face.
  • Myopia is caused by a natural change in the shape of your eye that makes the eyeball ovular rather than round. This change in curvature causes light rays that enter the eye to focus in front of the retina, rather than directly on it.


How can nearsightedness be corrected?

  • Eyeglasses and contact lenses can help correct myopia by bending the light into the correct position on the retina before it enters your eye
  • Several types of surgery, such as LASIK and HDSA, can also correct myopia by bending the incoming light; Unlike glasses or contact lenses, this is done by using a precise laser to reshape the cornea to bend the light as it enters your eye


How can you reduce eye strain at home?

  • Wear your eyeglasses or contact lenses as prescribed
  • Provide yourself with good light for reading; a soft background light with a direct light on your book, phone, crossword, &c. works well
  • Take frequent breaks when reading, watching TV, or working on a computer; blink often and close your eyes to rest when they feel tired
  • Avoid glare on television and computer screens; place your electronics where lights do not reflect on the screen
  • Wear sunglasses to block out harmful sunlight; buy sunglasses that block ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) rays


When should you call for help?

  • Sudden decrease in vision
  • Problems wearing contact lenses
  • If you see flashes of light or new floaters, or if you see a “curtain” over your vision
  • If you need help adjusting to reduced vision
  • If you do not see as well as you think you should while wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses
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