Nearsightedness happens when:

  • The eyeball is too long, OR
  • The cornea that covers the front of the eye is too curved

This changes the way light enters the eye. It causes far away objects to look blurry. It is not known why this happens.

Risk Factors

Nearsightedness is more common in people who have family members with it.



Problems may be:

  • Far away objects that look blurry
  • Squinting
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain


A vision specialist will ask about symptoms and past health. An eye exam will be done.



The goal is for the person to see far away objects clearly. Treatment options are:

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses that correct vision.
  • Corneal refractive therapy—using hard contact lenses to flatten the cornea and correct vision. Nearsightedness returns when the contacts stop being used.

Some people may choose to have surgery. Options are:

  • Laser procedures that changes the shape of the cornea to allow the eye to focus
  • Surgery to implant a corrective lens—with or without removing the eye's natural lens


There are no current guidelines to prevent nearsightedness.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.