Nearsightedness, or myopia, as it is medically termed, is a vision condition in which near objects are seen clearly, but distant objects do not come into proper focus. It occurs when your eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature, and light entering the eye is not focused properly. Some evidence supports the theory that nearsightedness is hereditary. There is some evidence that nearsightedness may also be caused by the stress of too much close vision work.

Nearsightedness is a very common vision condition that affects nearly 30 percent of the Canadian population. It normally develops in school age children. Since the eyes continue to grow during childhood, nearsightedness usually occurs before the individual reaches the age of 20.

You may need glasses part-time or full-time to enable you to see more clearly. If your condition warrants, your Doctor of Optometry will prescribe corrective lenses for you. You may only need them for certain activities, like watching television, going to a movie or driving a car.

Eyeglasses or contact lenses optically correct the problem by altering the way the light images enter your eyes, but they do not cure nearsightedness. At present there are no proven cures for nearsightedness. Surgical procedures such as LASIK and/or ocular implants may eliminate your need for glasses.

Michael D. Nelson