Nearsightedness, or myopia, as it is medically termed, is a vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. People with myopia can have difficulty clearly seeing a movie or TV screen or the whiteboard in school.
Myopia affects nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population. While the exact cause of myopia is unknown, there is significant evidence that many people inherit myopia, or at least the tendency to develop myopia.
Testing for myopia may use several procedures to measure how the eyes focus light and to determine the power of any optical lenses needed to correct the reduced vision.
As part of the testing, you will identify letters on a distance chart. This test measures visual acuity, which is written as a fraction, such as 20/40. The top number of the fraction is the standard distance at which testing is performed (20 feet). The bottom number is the smallest letter size read.
People with myopia have several options available to regain clear distance vision. They include:
- Contact lenses
- Ortho-k or CRT
- Laser procedures
- Other refractive surgery procedures
- Vision therapy for people with stress-related myopia