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Last Updated: May 03, 2023

Nearsightedness: What is it and how is it treated?

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Dr. Piyush TiwariOphthalmologist • 11 Years Exp.MBBS, M.S. Ophthalmology, Fellowship (Cornea and refractive surgery)
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What is nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness, which may also be referred to as myopia, is a condition where the eye cannot focus on objects that are close to it. The inability to read street signs while driving is one of the most common symptoms of this common vision condition. The primary cause of myopia, or nearsightedness, is elongation of the eyeball, which makes it more difficult for light to focus on the retina.

In other words, near-sightedness is a condition in which the eye has trouble focusing on nearby objects. It is the most common vision disorder. People who are nearsighted have a tough time seeing distant objects, but they can see well enough to read and perform other tasks up close.

Usually, people put on reading glasses when they reach the age of 40. Having said that, nearsightedness is more common in adolescents and young children than in elderly individuals. Several factors, including genetics, can cause myopia.

Because nearsightedness is more common in Asians and in those with a family history of the condition, researchers believe that this eye condition can be inherited. However, the exact genes involved remain unclear.

According to one study, nearsightedness is most common in Caucasians in the United States between the ages of 12 and 54. Another study also shows that the prevalence of myopia is increasing in American, African, and Japanese children.

What are the symptoms of nearsightedness?

There is no surefire way to tell if someone has nearsightedness with just a casual look. The best way to determine a person's nearsightedness is to schedule an eye examination with an optometrist. Here are some signs and symptoms of nearsightedness:

  • Reading difficulty
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Fatigue
  • Eyesight worsens after taking a nap
  • Eyesight worsens temporarily after exercising
  • Eyesight worsens temporarily when driving
  • Eyesight worsens temporarily when watching TV
  • Eyesight worsens temporarily when using a computer
  • Blurry vision while looking at distant objects

Furthermore, the symptoms of nearsightedness in kids may differ from those in general. In fact, they may include:

  • Increased squinting
  • Awkward head tilt
  • Avoidance of close work and reading
  • Rubbing or washing eyes frequently
  • Sitting very close to the computer or TV
  • Wearing glasses
  • Getting frequent headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Poor grades in school
  • Pain in the head or eyes when reading

When is 'medical attention' required?

Most people with nearsightedness can use glasses or contact lenses to see better, but if your nearsightedness is beyond a certain level, these may not be enough. In such a case, you may need to go for a surgical procedure or other treatment options.

If you have nearsightedness but have been wearing glasses or contact lenses, and you have recently noticed a sudden change in your vision, you should see your eye doctor immediately. This could be an early warning sign of a more serious condition, such as cataract.

Apart from that, it is advisable to see a doctor for nearsightedness when your eyesight starts affecting your day-to-day activities. When you are not able to read small texts due to blurred vision, maybe it is time to visit a doctor.

In children, nearsightedness is considered a serious problem, and it should get medical attention as early as possible. If not diagnosed and treated in the initial stages, it may cause astigmatism and other vision problems in young children.

How is nearsightedness tested?

Near-sightedness is usually diagnosed by the results of an eye exam. A comprehensive eye exam will include testing the eye's ability to see at both near and far distances. This is done using an instrument called an autorefractor, which measures the amount of nearsightedness present in the eye.

In other words, the condition is usually diagnosed with a basic eye exam at the doctor's office. In most cases, the doctor will run some tests to make sure you have perfect vision in both eyes.

Then he'll have the patient read an eye chart and probably look into your eyes with some instruments. If the doctor finds that the patient is nearsighted, they will probably recommend glasses or contacts.

If your nearsightedness is more severe and serious, then you are more likely to need a retinal examination as well. This exam uses a powerful light to look at the rear part of the eye. When nearsightedness is more severe, it is more likely that the eye will show some condition, such as a detached retina. Therefore, a retinal examination is usually necessary to determine the severity of nearsightedness.

How is nearsightedness treated?

Treatment for nearsightedness largely depends on the severity of the condition. In some cases, this condition can be corrected only with contact lenses or eyeglasses. However, in more severe cases, complex lens surgery may be required to reduce nearsightedness.

For patients needing lens surgery, a procedure called LASIK may be recommended. This procedure involves a surgeon (or surgery team) using a laser to reshape the cornea and eliminate nearsightedness.

More specifically, in LASIK surgery, a very thin flap is created on the cornea, the clear outer covering of the eye, and is then folded back to allow laser treatment of the underlying cornea. When this flap is repositioned, it heals in place, and vision is corrected.

Lasik is one of the most common surgeries performed worldwide. The recovery time is also relatively short (compared to other similar surgical procedures), and most patients' vision is 20/20 or better after the surgical procedure.


Nearsightedness is a very common vision condition, with about one in every four people currently suffering from it. It is largely a hereditary problem and often develops during childhood, but it can also develop in adults. It can be corrected with glasses and contact lenses, but it is also important to know the risks of nearsightedness and to take care of your eyes to prevent any further vision loss.

As the world becomes more digitally focused, more and more people are becoming nearsighted. It is, therefore, important to have a good understanding of nearsightedness.

Hopefully, the information in this article was able to supplement your existing knowledge about this condition. If you still have any questions about myopia or how it can be corrected, please feel free to contact us anytime!

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!

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