Myopia (Nearsightedness): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

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.

Other myopia (nearsightedness) symptoms and signs


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