Near-sightedness, also known as short-sightedness and myopia, is a condition of the eye where light focuses in front of, instead of on, the retina. This causes distant objects to be blurry while close objects appear normal. Other symptoms may include headaches and eye strain. Severe near-sightedness increases the risk of retinal detachment, cataracts, and glaucoma.
The underlying cause is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include doing work that involves focusing on close objects, greater time spent indoors, and a family history of the condition. It is also associated with a high socioeconomic class. The underlying mechanism involves the length of the eyeball being too long or less commonly the lens being too strong. It is a type of refractive error. Diagnosis is by eye examination.
There is tentative evidence that near-sightedness can be prevented by having young children spend more time outside. This may be related to natural light exposure. Near-sightedness can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Eyeglasses are the easiest and safest method of correction. Contact lenses can provide a wider field of vision; however are associated with a risk of infection. Refractive surgery permanently changes the shape of the cornea