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What You Should Know About Nearsightedness

If you see just fine when objects are up close, but they become blurry far away, you might be suffering from nearsightedness. Also called myopia, nearsightedness will make objects harder to focus on the further away they are. Here is more information about this condition.

How do you know you have nearsightedness?

Most people that can't see objects or details from far away have nearsightedness. In the beginning, the changes can be very subtle. It is not uncommon to not notice nearsightedness at first, but eventually you will start finding that street signs are blurry or that objects at a distance are harder to see than they once were.

There are also some other signs that you may notice in yourself or others that have this condition. For example, you might start squinting when you are trying to view objects from farther away, as that can help them come into focus. You may have to hold books or magazines closer to your face to read them or find that you are sitting closer to the television.

What causes this condition?

The main cause of nearsightedness is when your eyeball is a different size than average, including the cornea or the length of the eyeball itself. When either of these things occur, it can cause light to focus differently, where it focuses in front of your retina instead of on the surface. Many people inherit the condition, so if you have a parent or other close relative with nearsightedness, it is possible that you might get it as well. You might be in your 20s, 30s or even 40s before you realize you have it. If one of your parents has this condition, it is a good idea to get regular eye exams so you know when you have developed it.

How is it diagnosed?

Many people find out they are nearsighted from a routine eye exam performed as a child, though not everyone develops it at a young age. The first way to diagnose it is by getting a comprehensive eye exam from your optometrist. During this exam, there is a test called a refraction test that can look for nearsightedness or farsightedness.

What are the treatment options?

If you are diagnosed with nearsightedness, you may need to wear glasses, though you shouldn't need them all the time. The amount of time you wear corrective eyewear depends on the severity of your nearsightedness. If it is only a problem with objects very far away, you may only need to wear your glasses while driving. Others need it for objects that are a little closer, such as when watching television or sitting in class to see the chalkboard. You can also wear contact lenses or get a laser eye procedure to correct it. For more information, contact a company like Northway Eye & Contact Lens Center.