What is nearsighted?


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Know the basics

What is nearsighted?

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, refers to the vision condition in which you can not see objects farther away but objects near to you clearly. When you are nearsighted, you can find it difficult to see distant objects. For instance, you can not be able to make out highway signs until they are just a few feet away. This condition can progress gradually or rapidly, often become worse during childhood and adolescence.

How common is nearsighted?

This health condition is common in people between the ages of 8 and 12 but it can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of nearsighted?

The common signs and symptoms of nearsighted are:

  • Blurry vision when looking at distant objects;
  • The need to squint or partially close the eyelids to see clearly;
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain;
  • Difficulty seeing while driving a vehicle, especially at night;

Signs and symptoms of nearsighted in a child can include:

  • Persistently squint;
  • Need to sit closer to the television, movie screen or the front of the classroom;
  • Seem to be unaware of distant objects;
  • Blink excessively;
  • Rub their eyes frequently.

There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • If you can’t see well things that are far away and this affects your performing a task as well as you wish;
  • If the quality of your vision detracts from your enjoyment of activities;
  • If you experience a sudden onset of flashes of floaters or a shadow covering part of your field of vision.

Know the causes

What causes nearsighted?

You nearsightedness can be caused by the fact that your eyeball is too long or has a cornea that is curved too steeply, meaning that instead of focusing in the retina, light rays enters each eye to focus in front of the retina and this leads to blurry images.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for nearsighted?

There are many risk factors for nearsighted, such as:

  • Family history. This condition tends to run in families. You are at higher risk if one of your parents is nearsighted, or if both parents are nearsighted;
  • Reading a lot;
  • Environmental conditions like lacking of time spent outdoors.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is nearsighted diagnosed?

You can be diagnosed with nearsightedness through an eye exam. In a complete eye exam, you may need to experience a series of tests. Your eye doctor may use various instruments, aim bright lights directly at your eyes and ask you to look through several lenses. The gold of these tests is to detect different aspects of your eyes and vision and to identify what prescription you may need to have clear vision with the help of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

How is nearsighted treated?

To treat nearsightedness, you need to improve your vision through helping to focus light on your retina with the help of corrective lenses or refractive surgery.

If you choose to wear corrective lenses for treating your nearsightedness, it can help you by counteracting the increased curvature of your cornea or the increased length of your eye. You can try eyeglasses with many typles like bifocals, trifocals and reading lenses; or contact lenses that are worn right on your eyes.

If you don’t like the feeling of wearing something to help with your nearsightedness, you can consider refractive surgery. This method helps you to decrease or even eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. The most common procedures are photorefractive keratectomy with the use of a laser to remove a layer of corneal tissue, and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis with use of a femto laser or mechanical instrument to cut a thin flap through the top of the cornea.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage nearsighted?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with nearsighted:

  • Check your eye regularly;
  • Control chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure;
  • Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation;
  • Prevent eye injuries. It is suggested that you should wear protective eyewear when doing certain things like playing sports, mowing the lawn, painting or using other products with toxic fumes;
  • Quit smoking if you do. This not only helps the rest of your body but also your eye health.
  • Use the right corrective lenses;
  • Reduce eyestrain. After every few minutes of using your computer or reading, you should look away so that your eyes can relax.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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