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Nearsightedness or myopia is a refractive error of the eye that causes objects farther away to appear blurred. It occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature. As a result, the light entering the eye is not focused correctly and distant objects look blurred. Nearsightedness is often first noticed when children or teenagers find they cannot read the blackboard, but can easily read a book. It gets worse during the growing years and usually stops progressing in the late teens.


The exact cause of myopia is unknown, but two factors may be primarily responsible: heredity and visual stress. Environmental factors, health problems and excess time spent reading, working at a computer, or doing other intense close visual work may be some other causes. Though most nearsighted eyes are healthy, severe myopia may sometimes develop a form of retinal degeneration.


Eyestrain, headaches, squinting to see properly and difficulty seeing faraway objects, such as road signs or a school blackboards


There is no best way to correct nearsightedness. Correction depends on the individual’s eyes and lifestyle. Some methods include:

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses: This common correction method works by refocusing light rays on the retina, to compensate for the shape of your eye. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only for distance vision (driving, watching a movie, etc.).

  • LASIK or other similar form of refractive surgery: This corrects or improves vision by using surgical procedures to reshape the cornea and adjust your eye’s focusing ability.

  • Orthokeratology: A relatively a new technique where special retainer contact lenses, usually worn at night, reshape the cornea over a period of time. When removed, the cornea temporarily retains the new shape and you can see clearly.

  • Corneal implant rings: Sometimes used for correcting early or mild myopia, these plastic corneal rings also alter the shape of the cornea.

  • Phakic IOLs: This relatively new implantable lens is used in more extreme cases that may be unsuitable for LASIK or other vision correction surgery. Phakic IOLs work like contact lenses, except they are surgically placed within the eye and are typically permanent. Unlike the ones used in cataract surgery, these IOLs do not replace the eye's natural lens, which is left intact.