Nearsightedness (Myopia) - Topic Overview
How is nearsightedness diagnosed?
A routine eye
exam can show whether you are nearsighted. The eye exam includes questions
about your eyesight and a physical exam of your eyes. Ophthalmoscopy, slit lamp exams, and other tests that check vision and eye health are also part of a routine
Eye exams should be done for new babies and at all
well-child visits.1 Nearsightedness is usually first discovered in children of grade-school
How is it treated?
Most people who are nearsighted use eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct their vision.
Surgery can also reduce or fix nearsightedness. There are several surgery options, such as
LASIK, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), and artificial lens implants. The goal of surgery
is to help you see more clearly without glasses or contacts. Most doctors consider
20/40 vision or better after surgery a satisfactory
result. People with 20/40 vision or better are allowed to drive a car without
If glasses or contact lenses are inconvenient for your work or lifestyle, surgery may be a good choice. But nearsightedness is not a disease, and a nearsighted eye
is otherwise normal and healthy. Weigh your desire to have clear
vision without glasses or contacts against the risks and cost of surgery. And be aware that you may still need to wear glasses or contact lenses
If your vision doesn't bother you and if you have no driving problems or other safety concerns, you don't need to have any treatment. Nearsightedness won't affect the health of your eye, and it won't get worse just because you don't wear glasses or don't have surgery.
If you are nearsighted, get regular eye exams, and see your eye care specialist if you have changes in your vision.