Nearsightedness is a condition in which we can clearly see nearby objects, but objects further away appear blurry. People with nearsightedness may have trouble seeing road signs or TV screens clearly, but are able to read a book or send a text (mild to moderate myopia). In addition, myopia can cause squinting, eye strain, and headaches. These symptoms are usually reversible with correction through glasses, contact lenses, or laser surgery.
Myopia occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved. Light rays focus on a point in front of the retina rather than on the retina, so distant objects appear blurry. The exact cause of nearsightedness is unknown, but many studies have linked its onset with prolonged close-sightedness coupled with a genetic predisposition (if your parents are nearsighted, you are more likely to be nearsighted).
Nearsightedness is the most common refractive error and a recent study estimated the number of nearsighted people in Europe at 227.2 million people. Myopia should not be viewed as an eye disease but as a refractive error.
Nearsightedness typically affects children and stabilizes in their early twenties. In some rare cases, it continues to progress with age.
Available treatments include: