What Is Myopia, and What Causes It?

What Is Myopia, and What Causes It?

You’ve probably heard of myopia and may already know that it has something to do with vision. You may even have it but still be unsure about its exact meaning.  

Myopia is a condition that makes it more difficult to see things clearly in the distance. It’s also called nearsightedness or shortsightedness, because eyes with myopia can more easily see things close-up. But if you have to squint to see things farther away, you may have myopia.

When you have myopia, images focus in front of your retina, instead of on it, as they would with perfect vision. Myopia has several possible causes, but one of the most common is that the eye is longer than it should be. This creates blurry images on the retina like a camera that’s out of focus.

Myopia usually starts in childhood, from about age 5 to 14, and continues to worsen until early adulthood. All the growth kids experience during this period can also make the eye accelerate in its growth, which leads to myopia. 

Both family history1 and lifestyle2,3,4 contribute to nearsightedness. Obviously there isn’t any way to change any part of the genetics that underlie myopia. But there are some other ways to slow its progression in kids, including limiting screen time and making sure they spend time outdoors.2

Until recently, those were pretty much the only ways to keep myopia from worsening too quickly. But now there are other options. MiSight® 1 day soft contact lenses are specifically designed for myopia control and are FDA approved* to slow the progression of myopia in children aged 8-12 at initiation of treatment.5 These daily-wear, single-use contacts — available with a prescription from an eye doctor — help to improve kids’ blurred vision and to slow the worsening of their myopia.5

MiSight® can go a long way toward keeping kids engaged with what’s in front of them, both in and out of school.6 And unlike other methods of vision correction, they don’t get in the way of playing sports and being active. To find out whether MiSight® 1 day contact lenses might be a good fit for your child’s eyes, talk to your family’s eye doctor.

Contact lenses that go beyond vision correction are an option that’s becoming increasingly common in the treatment of myopia. In an international study from 2019, 84% of eye-care professionals said they would consider prescribing contact lenses to children in the early stages of myopia to slow its progression.†7