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What is Myopia? 

Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common condition in which a child can see clearly objects nearby but not objects in the distance, making them appear blurry. Myopia is caused by a bent or a curved lens or retina that doesn’t refract light properly. It is one of several refractive-error disorders, the other ones being hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.


  • Blurred vision when looking at distant objects 
  • Squinting 
  • Children may be able to read a book but not read the blackboard or see images on TV 
  • Eyestrain 
  • Headaches 


Early diagnosis is essential because a child’s academic progress can be affected by not being able to see well at a distance. Diagnosis can be made with a general eye exam, including: 

  • Measurement of the pressure of fluid in the eyes 
  • Refraction test, to determine the correct prescription for glasses 
  • Retinal examination 
  • Slit-lamp exam of the structures at the front of the eyes 
  • Visual acuity test to measure vision at different distances 


  • Eyeglasses 
  • Contact lenses 
  • Laser surgery 

When to Call for Help 

If your child has any of the above symptoms, seek advice from your pediatrician.

At Hopkins Children’s, myopia is treated by the division of Ophthalmology.

External Links:

Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute 

National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health)