Nearsightedness or myopia, occurs when light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This is caused by a cornea that is steeper, or an eye that is longer, than a normal eye. Nearsighted people typically see well up close, but have difficulty seeing far away.
This problem is often discovered in school-age children who report having trouble seeing the chalkboard. Nearsightedness usually becomes progressively worse through adolescence and stabilizes in early adulthood.
Nearsightedness is detected with a vision test and refraction.
The treatment for nearsightedness depends on several factors such as the patient's age, activities, and occupation. Vision can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or surgery. Refractive procedures such as LASIK can be considered for adults when the prescription has remained stable for at least one year.
Illustrations by Mark Erickson
With acknowledgement to St. Lukes Eye Hospital.