Myopia (Nearsightedness): Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 3/27/2019

Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness, a very common vision defect. In myopia, light rays of images focus in front of the retina rather than directly on the retina. Myopia often runs in families and tends to develop in childhood.

People who have myopia or nearsightedness have difficulty seeing distant objects clearly but can see objects that are nearby. When myopia is not corrected with glasses or contact lenses, symptoms include blurred vision, distorted vision, eye strain or fatigue when looking at distant objects (such as while driving), headache, or squinting.

Causes of myopia (nearsightedness)

The cause of myopia is a refractive error in which the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature, so the light entering the eye does not focus correctly.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2019

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