Learn About Nearsightedness

What is the definition of Nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness is when light entering the eye is focused incorrectly. This makes distant objects appear blurred. Nearsightedness is a type of refractive error of the eye.

If you are nearsighted, you have trouble seeing things that are far away.

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What are the alternative names for Nearsightedness?

Myopia; Shortsightedness; Refractive error - nearsightedness

What are the causes of Nearsightedness?

People are able to see because the front part of the eye bends (refracts) light and focuses it on the retina. This is the inside of the back surface of the eye.

Nearsightedness occurs when there is a mismatch between the focusing power of the eye and the length of the eye. Light rays are focused in front of the retina, rather than directly on it. As a result, what you see is blurry. Most of the eye's focusing power comes from the cornea.

Nearsightedness affects males and females equally. People who have a family history of nearsightedness are more likely to develop it. Most eyes with nearsightedness are healthy. However, a small number of people with severe nearsightedness develop a form of retinal degeneration.

The predominant wavelength of light in your environment may affect the development of myopia. Recent research suggests that more time outdoors may lead to less myopia.

What are the symptoms of Nearsightedness?

A nearsighted person sees close-up objects clearly, but objects in the distance are blurred. Squinting will tend to make far away objects seem clearer.

Nearsightedness is often first noticed in school-aged children or teenagers. Children often cannot read the blackboard, but they can easily read a book.

Nearsightedness gets worse during the growth years. People who are nearsighted may need to change glasses or contact lenses often. Nearsightedness most often stops progressing as a person stops growing in his or her early twenties.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches (uncommon)
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What are the current treatments for Nearsightedness?

Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses can help shift the focus of the light image directly onto the retina. This will produce a clearer image.

The most common surgery to correct myopia is LASIK. An excimer laser is used to reshape (flatten) the cornea, shifting the focus. A newer type of laser refraction surgery called SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is also approved for use in the U.S.

Who are the top Nearsightedness Local Doctors?
Highly rated in

Medical Faculty Mannheim Of The Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg

Mannheim, BW, DE 

Jost Jonas is in Mannheim, Germany. Jonas is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Nearsightedness. They are also highly rated in 31 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Nearsightedness, Glaucoma, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and Optic Nerve Atrophy.

Highly rated in

Erasmus Medical Center

Rotterdam, ZH, NL 

Caroline Klaver is in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Klaver is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Nearsightedness. She is also highly rated in 18 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Nearsightedness, Late-Onset Retinal Degeneration, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and Pigment-Dispersion Syndrome.

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Highly rated in

University Of New South Wales

Sydney, NSW, AU 

Padmaja Sankaridurg is in Sydney, Australia. Sankaridurg is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Nearsightedness. They are also highly rated in 1 other condition, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Nearsightedness, Astigmatism, Presbyopia, and Interstitial Keratitis.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Nearsightedness?

Early diagnosis of nearsightedness is important. A child can suffer socially and educationally by not being able to see well at a distance.

What are the possible complications of Nearsightedness?

Complications may include:

  • Corneal ulcers and infections may occur in people who use contact lenses.
  • Rarely, complications of laser vision correction may occur. These can be serious.
  • People with myopia, in rare cases, develop retinal detachments or retinal degeneration.
When should I contact a medical professional for Nearsightedness?

Call your health care provider if your child shows these signs, which may indicate a vision problem:

  • Having difficulty reading the blackboard in school or signs on a wall
  • Holding books very close when reading
  • Sitting close to the television

Call your eye doctor if you or your child is nearsighted and experiences signs of a possible retinal tear or detachment, including:

  • Flashing lights
  • Floating spots
  • Sudden loss of any part of the field of vision
How do I prevent Nearsightedness?

It has been generally believed that there is no way to prevent nearsightedness. Reading and watching television do not cause nearsightedness. In the past, dilating eye drops were proposed as a treatment to slow the development of nearsightedness in children, but those early studies were inconclusive. However, there is recent information that certain dilating eyedrops used in certain children at just the right time, may decrease the total amount of nearsightedness that they will develop.

The use of glasses or contact lenses does not affect the normal progression of myopia -- they simply focus the light so the nearsighted person can see distant objects clearly. However, it is important to not prescribe glasses or contact lenses that are too strong. Hard contact lenses will sometimes hide the progression of nearsightedness, but vision will still get worse "under" the contact lens.

Visual acuity test
Normal, nearsightedness, and farsightedness
Lasik eye surgery - series - Normal anatomy
What are the latest Nearsightedness Clinical Trials?
Clinical Study Of The Bionode System In Subjects With Elevated Intraocular Pressure (IOP)
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A Multicenter Clinical Evaluation of the EVO/EVO+ Visian® Implantable Collamer® Lens
What are the Latest Advances for Nearsightedness?
One year outcomes after small incision lenticule extraction ReLEX in the correction of myopia and myopic astigmatism.
Efficacy and safety of single-step transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy with the all-surface laser ablation SCHWIND platform without mitomycin-C for high myopia: A retrospective study of 69 eyes.
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Primary scleral-fixated posterior chamber intraocular lenses in patients with congenital lens subluxation.
What are our references for Nearsightedness?

Cheng KP. Ophthalmology. In: Zitelli BJ, McIntire SC, Nowalk AJ, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 20.

Chia A, Chua WH, Wen L, Fong A, Goon YY, Tan D. Atropine for the treatment of childhood myopia: changes after stopping atropine 0.01%, 0.1% and 0.5%. Am J Ophthalmol. 2014;157(2):451-457. PMID: 24315293 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24315293/.

Kanellopoulos AJ. Topography-guided LASIK versus small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) for myopia and myopic astigmatism: a randomized, prospective, contralateral eye study. J Refract Surg. 2017;33(5):306-312. PMID: 28486721 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28486721/.

Olitsky SE, Marsh JD. Abnormalities of refraction and accommodation. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 638.

Torii H, Ohnuma K, Kurihara T, Tsubota K, Negishi K. Violet light transmission is related to myopia progression in adult high myopia. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):14523. PMID: 29109514 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29109514/.