Myopia Causes, Complications, Symptoms And Treatment


Myopia, a disease that affects many people, causes near objects to seem distinct while far-distant ones appear fuzzy. It occurs when light rays are improperly bent (refracted) as a result of the shape of the eye or certain features of the eye. Although light should focus on the retina at the back of the eye, it is instead focused in front of the retina.

After growing between birth and adolescence, nearsightedness frequently becomes more stable between the ages of 20 and 40. Myopia typically runs in families.

A quick eye exam can determine whether someone is nearsighted. Your blurry vision can be improved with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.


Two areas of your eye focus pictures:

The transparent, dome-shaped front surface of your eye is called the cornea.

The lens is a transparent structure that resembles an M&M candy bar in both size and form.

The light must travel between the cornea and lens for you to see. They refract light so that it shines directly on the retina, the nerve tissue in the back of your eye. These tissues convert light into signals that are then delivered to the brain, allowing you to see images.

Refractive error

Refractive error is nearsightedness. This issue arises when the cornea's condition, shape, or even the form of the eye itself causes the light entering the eye to focus incorrectly.

Being too lengthy or having an oval-shaped eye as opposed to a spherical eye is the most frequent cause of nearsightedness. It could also result from an excessively acute corneal curvature. These alterations cause light beams to collide just in front of the retina. The brain receives messages from the retina that are seen as hazy.

Other refractive errors include:

Farsightedness (hyperopia). If your cornea is overly flat or your eyeball is shorter than average, this will happen. While near items may look hazy to certain people, distant ones may appear reasonably clear to them. 

Astigmatism. When your cornea or lens curves more sharply in one direction than the other, this happens. Vision is distorted or hazy from all angles.

How to check if you have Myopia?

Schedule an appointment with an eye care professional if your child displays any indications of vision issues or if a teacher suspects issues.


If you detect a change in your vision, experience trouble with activities like driving, or feel that the quality of your eyesight reduces your pleasure in activities, schedule an appointment for yourself.

Get immediate emergency medical assistance if you experience any of the following:

  • Many floaters are little specks or lines that appear to wander through your field of vision.
  • Luminous bursts in either one or both eyes
  • A grey shade, like a curtain, engulfing all or a portion of your field of view
  • Glare in your periphery or side vision (peripheral vision)

These are indications that the retina is beginning to separate from the eye's iris. This ailment is an emergency that has to be treated right now. An increased risk of retinal detachment is linked to severe nearsightedness.

Routine eye examinations

Children and adults alike might not be aware of eyesight issues or gradual changes. 

Children and teenagers

Simple examinations will be performed by your child's physician or another healthcare professional at birth, between 6 and 12 months of age, and between 12 and 36 months of age to assess your child's eye health. You can be suggested to a medical professional who specializes in eye health and cares if there are any issues (ophthalmologist).


Screenings are examinations that look for eyesight issues. A pediatrician, ophthalmologist, optometrist, or other qualified clinicians may carry out a screening test. The following is a brief summary of the schools provided.

The following are the suggested screening times:

  • Once between the ages of 3 and 5
  • Age 5 or 6 prior to entering kindergarten
  • Every year till the conclusion of high school

A full eye checkup with an optometrist or ophthalmologist must be scheduled if an issue is found during a screening test.


You will probably require more frequent eye exams if you have diabetes, a family history of eye illness, high blood pressure, or other risks for heart or vascular disease. Also, if you already use prescription eyewear like glasses or contacts or if you have undergone vision correction surgery, you will probably require more frequent checkups. How frequently you should get exams will be advised by your doctor or eye doctor.

Risk Factors

Nearsightedness may be more likely to develop if certain risk factors exist, such as the following:

Genetics. The tendency to be nearsighted runs through families. Your likelihood of being nearsighted is higher if one of your parents is. If both parents have nearsightedness, the chance is increased.

Prolonged activities are completed up close. Long periods of reading or other close-up work are linked to a higher risk of nearsightedness.

Using a screen. Children who use computers or other smart gadgets for extended periods of time have a higher chance of becoming nearsighted, according to studies.

Environmental circumstances. A lack of outdoor activity may raise the chance of developing nearsightedness.


Some warning signs or symptoms of nearsightedness are:

  • Vision is blurry when viewing far-off items
  • Inability to see well without squinting or partially closing one's eyes
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain

Youngsters could have trouble seeing what is written on whiteboards or shown on screens in the classroom. Children may not show signs of vision impairment, but they may engage in the following behaviours instead:

  • Continue to squint
  • Seem oblivious to far-off items
  • Blink often
  • The eyes are often rubbed
  • Seated near the television

Adults with myopia could have trouble reading shop or road signage. Even though they can see perfectly in the daylight, some people may suffer fuzzy vision in low light, such as when driving at night. The name of this ailment is nocturnal myopia.


By using corrective lenses or refractive surgery to help concentrate light on your retina, nearsightedness is often treated with the intention of improving vision. Treating nearsightedness also entails routinely checking for the condition's side effects, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment.

Lens prescription

By reducing your cornea's increased curvature or your eye's increased length, corrective lenses can remedy nearsightedness. Prescription eyewear varieties include:

Eyeglasses. This is a quick, secure method to correct nearsightedness and improve eyesight. A combination of refractive defects, such as nearsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia, can also be corrected using eyeglass lenses.

lens contacts. The cornea is covered by tiny, plastic discs known as contact lenses. One contact lens can treat many refractive errors.

Error. There are various materials and upkeep specifications. Contact lenses most suited to your prescription and lifestyle might be suggested by your eye care professional.

Cataract surgery

Glasses and contact lenses are not as necessary after refractive surgery. The cornea is reshaped by your eye surgeon using a laser, which reduces the need for nearsighted prescription lenses. You might still need to wear eyeglasses sometimes following surgery.

In situ keratomileusis with laser assistance (LASIK). Your eye doctor will cut a tiny, hinged flap into your cornea during this surgery. The corneal tissue is then removed with a laser to flatten its oblong form. Compared to other corneal procedures, LASIK recovery is often quicker and more comfortable.

Keratectomy (LASEK). Only the outside, protective layer of the cornea is where the surgeon makes an extremely thin flap (epithelium). The cornea is then reshaped by flattening its curve using a laser, and the epithelium is subsequently replaced.

Photographic keratectomy (PRK). Similar to LASEK, this surgery involves fully removing the epithelium before the cornea is reshaped using a laser. The cornea is protected with a temporary, protective contact lens while your cornea's epithelium spontaneously heals and shapes to its new shape.

Lenticule extraction by a small incision (SMILE). There is no flap or epithelium removal with this surgery. Instead, a little disk-shaped portion of the cornea called a lenticular is sliced with a laser and extracted through a tiny corneal incision.

Surgery is not an option for everyone.

Everyone with nearsightedness has a choice. Only when nearsightedness stops increasing is surgery advised. The advantages and disadvantages of surgical treatment choices will be addressed by your surgeon.

Treatments to halt or decrease the growth of myopia

The treatments with the most potential are:

Atropine. The pupil of the eye is frequently dilated with atropine drops during eye examinations or both before and after eye surgery. Atropine eye drops in modest dosages may also aid in halting the growth of nearsightedness.

More time spent outside. Spending time outside when you are young, in adolescence, and in your early adult years may reduce your chance of being nearsighted.

Optical devices with two foci.

Some evidence suggests that a certain type of dual-focus contact lens can reduce the growth of nearsightedness.

Orthokeratology. A stiff contact lens used at night temporarily reshapes the cornea. Daytime use of the lens is not permitted. According to studies, this treatment may halt the growth of nearsightedness.

Complications of Myopia

Many issues, ranging in severity from minor to severe, are linked to nearsightedness, including:

Poor experiences at school. Myopia and other visual issues can cause delays in reading development and other academic abilities in children, as well as social interaction issues and low self-esteem.

Lessening of life's quality. Untreated nearsightedness might make it difficult for you to enjoy hobbies or do everyday duties properly.

Eyestrain. Nearsightedness that is not treated might result in headaches and ongoing eye strain.

Reduced safety. If you have an untreated visual issue, both your safety and that of others may be in danger. If you are using heavy machinery or driving a car, this might be very dangerous.

Other vision issues. You have a higher risk of developing serious eye disorders including glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment if you have severe nearsightedness.

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Page last reviewed: Mar 29, 2023

Next review due: Mar 29, 2025

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