Nearsightedness: What Is Myopia?
Myopia (nearsightedness) is a refractive error. Refractive error is when the eye does not bend (refract) light properly. Light does not focus correctly so images are not clear. In myopia, close objects look clear but distant objects appear blurred. Myopia is a common condition that affects an estimated 25% of Americans. It is an eye focusing disorder, not an eye disease.
Myopia is inherited. If a parent has myopia their child may get is as well. Myopia is often discovered in children when they are between ages 8 and 12 years old. During the teenage years, when the body grows rapidly, myopia may become worse. Between the ages of 20 and 40, there is usually little change. Myopia can also occur in adults.