Maple Eye and Laser Center
How is Myopia Caused? | Causes of Myopia | Nearsightedness

What Causes Myopia?

child with headphones on rubbing her eyes

Do you find it difficult to see distant objects until you are a few feet away? Do you find it hard to read a book unless it is up close? If so, chances are that you are nearsighted, a condition known as myopia. This condition is quite common but easily fixed using prescription eyewear or eye surgery.

What is Myopia?

Myopic or nearsighted people can see objects that are close clearly. However, those further away tend to appear blurred. It usually occurs when one’s cornea is too curved or the eyeball is too long.

Due to such eye irregularities, the light that enters the eye does not focus correctly. Thus, distant objects tend to appear blurred. According to studies, more than 30 percent of people in the U.S. are nearsighted.

What Causes Nearsightedness?

Researchers and eye care professionals are yet to determine the exact cause of this condition. However, some studies suggest that some people may inherit it or at least have an increased likelihood of developing myopia.

Also, you may have an increased risk of developing the condition based on how you use your eyes. Do you spend considerable time staring at a digital screen, reading, or doing other close visual activities? If so, you may be more likely to develop nearsightedness.

Symptoms of Myopia

The most common and obvious symptom of myopia is finding it difficult to see distant objects. You may also notice other symptoms, such as:

  • Eyestrain

  • Frequent headaches resulting from eyestrain

  • Eye fatigue when you focus on objects a few feet away

  • Squinting

  • Excessive blinking

  • Trouble reading road signs while driving or the blackboard at school

  • Needing to sit closer to digital screens

  • Frequent eye rubbing


Nearsightedness occurs when your eyeball is too long relative to the focusing power of your eye’s cornea and lens. This problem can cause light rays to focus improperly. Essentially, they focus at a certain point in front of its surface instead of focusing directly on your retina.

Myopia can also result from the eye’s lens or the cornea being too curved relative to your eyeball. In most cases, this condition begins in childhood. You may be at a higher risk of being nearsighted if both of your parents have myopia. Typically, the condition stops worsening and stabilizes in early adulthood. But sometimes, it may continue to progress as you age.

If you are nearsighted, at least one of your parents likely has the same condition. But to determine the exact cause of your condition, you need to undergo a thorough eye exam. After all, the condition may stem from both environmental and hereditary factors.

Types of Myopia

Most cases of nearsightedness are relatively mild and easily managed using corrective lenses or eye surgery. However, more severe eye disorders may develop. These include high myopia and degenerative myopia.

So if you start experiencing sudden flashes, floaters, shadows, or loss of sight in one eye, you must schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Following a thorough examination of your eyes, your eye doctor will rule out or confirm a more serious health condition.

To learn more about myopia, contact Maple Eye and Laser Center at our office in White Plains or Manhattan, New York. You can call 914-948-5157 to schedule an appointment today.