Nearsightedness (Myopia)


Nearsightedness is a vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. As a result, people with myopia have trouble clearly seeing a movie or TV screen, or while driving. Children with myopia have trouble reading the blackboard at school.

The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred.

What causes nearsightedness?

Even though the exact cause of myopia is unknown, there is significant evidence that many people inherit it.

Other causes may be attributed to how a person uses his or her eyes. For example, if you spend considerable time reading, working at a computer, doing other intense close visual work, you may be more likely to develop myopia. After long hours of near work, your eyes are unable to refocus to see clearly in the distance. Clear distance vision usually returns, however, after resting the eye.

Myopia may also occur due to environmental or other health problems. For instance, some people may experience blurred distance vision only at night when low light makes it difficult for the eyes to focus properly. Or a person might have symptoms of myopia when there are variations in blood sugar levels in people with diabetes or it may be an early indication of a developing cataract.

What are the symptoms of nearsightedness?

The main symptom of nearsightedness is that distant objects are blurred. Other symptoms may include

  • Headaches 
  • Squinting
  • Eyestrain
  • Eye fatigue

Does myopia get better over time?

Myopia runs in families and usually starts in childhood and stops changing after your teenage years, but not always. If you notice changes in your eye vision, get your eyes checked. 

How is nearsightedness diagnosed?

During your consultation, your eye doctor will conduct a comprehensive eye exam that includes testing for myopia using several procedures to measure how the eyes focus light and to determine the power of any optical lenses needed to correct the reduced vision.

From the results of your eye testing, your doctor will determine if you have myopia and if so, will discuss treatment options for vision correction. When you have myopia, your prescription for glasses or contact lenses will be a negative number. The more negative the number, the stronger your lenses will be. For example, -3.00 is stronger than -2.50.

What is the treatment for nearsightedness?

Aside from prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, there are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness. Some of these options include laser procedures, such as LASIK or PRK. For patients who are highly nearsighted or whose corneas are too thin for laser procedures, they may be able to have their myopia surgically corrected with an implantable collamer (Visian ICL) lens that is implanted in front of the eye’s natural lens.

Contact Us

If you have myopia, we have a variety of options to correct your vision problem. Contact Fischer-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center at (815) 932-2020 to schedule a consultation or you may request an appointment online.