When it comes to eyesight and vision problems, you've probably heard the term nearsightedness. This is actually the more common name for an eye condition called myopia. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmologists, 9.6 million adults in this country have myopia.

In order to find out more about this common eye condition, here are the answers to four frequently asked questions regarding myopia.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is a type of refractive error where you can things better up close than when they are far away. This is why people who have myopia are said to be nearsighted.

What Are Some Risk Factors Associated with Myopia?

Some people are more likely to get myopia than others. Many adults with myopia were most likely first diagnosed when they were school-aged. If you have any of the following risk factors, you will have an increased chance of getting myopia:

  • You do a lot of close visual work, such as working on the computer.
  • You have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • This eye condition runs in your family.

If you currently wear prescription glasses or have contact lenses and notice you are having trouble seeing things far away, you may need a stronger prescription.

What Are the Symptoms of Myopia?

Not being able to see things in the distance very well is one of the most obvious symptoms of myopia. Other common symptoms include:

  • You have to squint your eyes in order to see things more clearly.
  • You have frequent headaches.
  • You feel more fatigued than usual.
  • You notice your eyes feel strained.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you see your optometrist for a routine eye exam.

What Are Some Treatment Options for Myopia?

Thankfully, myopia is very easy to treat. For most people with this eye condition, getting a prescription pair of glasses or contact lenses will help improve their vision acuity and objects in the distance will no longer appear blurry or hard to read. Some people with myopia choose to undergo laser vision correction. One of the most popular types of laser refractive surgery is called LASIK. Having this procedure will enable you to see clearly without having to wear glasses or contact lenses.

As with all types of surgeries, there are some risks involved with LASIK, but if this sounds like a good way to treat your myopia, check with an optometrist like those at Idaho Eye and Laser center to see if you're a good candidate.