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Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common vision condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry. It occurs when the shape of your eye causes light rays to bend (refract) incorrectly, focusing images in front of your retina instead of on your retina.

Nearsightedness may develop gradually or rapidly, often worsening during childhood and adolescence. Nearsightedness tends to run in families.

When should children see an eye doctor?

We recommend a child's first eye exam to be at age 10months, then age 3 and age 5. Every child under the age of 1 gets a free eye exam through a program called InfantSee. 


Nearsightedness symptoms may include:

  • Blurry vision when looking at distant objects

  • The need to squint or partially close the eyelids to see clearly

  • Headaches caused by eyestrain

  • Difficulty seeing while driving a vehicle, especially at night (night myopia)

Nearsightedness is often first detected during childhood and is commonly diagnosed between the early school years through the teens. A child with nearsightedness may:

  • Persistently squint

  • Need to sit closer to the television, movie screen or the front of the classroom

  • Seem to be unaware of distant objects

  • Blink excessively

  • Rub his or her eyes frequently

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