Myopia

Synonyms: Nearsightedness

Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine, Ophthalmology


Clinical Definition

Myopia is a refractive error, with incoming light focusing in front of the retina, rather than directly on the retina, resulting in blurred vision with objects at a distance, but not close up. Myopia runs in families, with the typical onset in childhood. Myopia progresses with age, but typically plateaus. Eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery can correct myopia.


In Our Own Words

Myopia, or nearsightedness, affects large numbers of people, often running in families. Myopia is a refractive error, in which the eyeball is too long or the cornea (the transparent covering on the front of the eye covering the iris and pupil) has too much curvature to allow light entering the eye to focus directly on the retina. The images focus in front of the retina, and vision becomes blurred for distant objects.  Those with low or mild myopia have a higher than normal risk of having a detached retina. Those with severe or high myopia have a higher than typical risk of getting glaucoma (disease that damages optic nerve) or cataracts (clouding of the eye's lens). Besides eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery can bring the vision to normal or near normal.

Relevant Conditions
  • Presbyopia
Side Effects
  • Blurry far-away objects
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to see school blackboard
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