Defined as “the gradual or rapid decline of your eyes’ ability to focus on far away objects,” nearsightedness (or myopia, as it is medically known) affects approximately 25 percent of the American population.
Nearsightedness is a refractive error, which, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, means that the eye “does not bend or refract light properly to a single focus to see images clearly.” Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms, causes and treatments associated with this common disorder.
When someone has myopia, they will experience blurry vision when looking at things that are far away. Objects that are close by, however, can be seen clearly— hence why the condition is referred to as nearsightedness.
Additional signs of myopia include the need to squint or close the eyelids in order to see clearly, headaches caused by overstrained eyes, and difficulty seeing while driving—especially at night (called night myopia). Nearsightedness can also present itself in children, with one of the earliest and most common complaints being that they are unable to clearly see the blackboard at school.