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Nearsightedness, or myopia, as it is medically termed, is
a vision condition in which objects up close can be seen
clearly, but objects farther away are blurred.

In nearsightedness, the eyeball is either too long or the
cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, has too much
curvature. This prevents light entering the eye from
being focused correctly and, as a result, words, people, or
objects at a distance appear blurry or out of focus. The
first signs of nearsightedness often appear in school-age
children and can progress, as a child grows.

Researchers believe nearsightedness is often genetic. If
one or both parents are nearsighted, the odds increase
that their children will be nearsighted too. However, the
condition can also be caused by how a child uses his or
her eyes. The stress of too much close vision work such
as reading, working at a computer, or doing other
intense close visual tasks can lead to problems with
blurred distance vision.

In some cases, it is possible for a child to experience a
"pseudo" or false myopia. When the eyes' focusing
mechanism is over worked, it is unable to refocus quickly
and the result is temporarily blurred vision. After
resting the eyes, the symptoms usually abate and clear
distance vision may return. However, over time constant
visual stress may lead to a permanent reduction in
distance vision.

If your child is experiencing difficulty seeing distant
objects clearly like a movie or TV screen, or the
chalkboard in school, that's a typical sign of
nearsightedness. Vision can be improved with eyeglasses
or contact lenses.

Vision therapy is also an option for improving blurred
distance vision when it's caused by a spasm of the eye
focusing muscles. Various eye exercises can be used to
improve poor eye focusing ability and regain clear
distance vision.

Vision Topics