What Causes Myopia?

Myopia is a vision condition in which individuals are unable to see objects that are far away clearly. They can see things or objects that are close quite clearly, but those far away appear blurry. Myopia occurs when the eye’s shape results in light rays refracting or bending incorrectly. This means that images are focused on the front part of the retina and not on the retina itself. Myopia can develop rapidly or gradually, depending on the individual. It usually gets worse during childhood and adolescence. Myopia usually runs in families.

Understanding Types of Myopia

Myopia is fairly common, and it can be treated by wearing corrective lenses or through laser surgery. A basic eye exam can confirm a myopia diagnosis. There are different types of myopia: Simple Myopia, High Myopia, and Pathological or Degenerative Myopia.

Simple myopia is the least severe type. In this case, the eyes are generally healthy, and wearing glasses or contacts can correct the issue quite easily. High myopia is more severe, and it occurs when an individual develops nearsightedness while young. The vision becomes worse as the person gets older.

High myopia often increases an individual’s risk of developing other eye conditions like glaucoma, retinal detachment, or cataracts. Pathological myopia or degenerative myopia occurs alongside other eye conditions. The eyes will usually have other issues affecting the retina, such as degeneration, atrophy, or scarring. Pathological myopia can lead to vision loss.

What Causes Myopia?

This condition occurs due to the structure of the eye, the eyeball being too long and the cornea too curved. When this happens, the light entering the eye does not focus correctly. It stops before the retina instead of directly on it. The retina is the light-sensitive area of the eye that sends images to the brain. When the light focuses incorrectly, the images appear blurry. This condition is also called a refractive error. While the exact cause of myopia is still unknown, there are factors that can increase one’s likelihood of getting it:



Children with parents who have myopia are more likely to develop the condition themselves. The risk is much higher when both parents have myopia.



Children who spend most of their time indoors doing up-close tasks often have a higher chance of becoming myopic. This is as opposed to those who spend most of their time outdoors.

Health Factors

Myopia can develop due to different health issues, such as diabetes. The development of a cataract can also lead to myopia.

Visual Stress


While myopia usually develops in childhood, it can also occur in adulthood. This happens when an individual overuses the focusing function of the eyes.

Some researchers suggest a link between intelligence and myopia. They feel that increased intelligence can cause someone to develop myopia. However, there is little evidence to support this theory.

Blurry vision is the main symptom of myopia. However, there are other symptoms, such as tired eyes, squinting, eyestrain, and headaches. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to visit an optometrist for a diagnosis. The optometrist will recommend ways to correct the issue, such as wearing glasses or contact lenses. If the myopia is advanced, the optometrist may recommend refractive surgery.

For more information on myopia, visit City Eyes Optometry Center at our offices in Sherman Oaks, California. You can also call (818) 960-1300 to book an appointment today.

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