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How Common Is Nearsightedness Or It Is Rare Disease?

Nearsightedness is a very common disease, caused by the cornea lens being to be curved for the length of the eyeball. It is common in toddlers, but very common in children, teenagers, young adults, adults, and seniors.

Nearsightedness is also called as shortsightedness or myopia. It is a medical term and also a vision condition in which the affected person can see close objects clearly but the far vision appears blurred. It is a refractive defect of the eye. It occurs due to a problem with the refracting ability of the eye, and when the eye is not able to focus on objects that are far. It happens when the lens gets curved from its normal shape or when the eye is longer than the normal, so the light enters in the eye and focus on a point in front of the retina and not on retina. This makes the far objects look blurry. It is typically started from childhood and increase rapidly. Myopia can often be the first symptom of the Diabetes mellitus type 2.

How Common Is Nearsightedness Or It Is Rare Disease?

How Common Is Nearsightedness Or It Is Rare Disease?

Nearsightedness is not a rare disease. It is a very common condition1. It is also associated with genetic and environmental factors. The cause of nearsightedness includes doing work that involves focusing on the close object, more time spent indoors, and a family history of the condition.

Nearsightedness is the most common disorder of the eye and is estimated to affect 22% people of the population. Myopia increasing rapidly throughout the developed world because of the environmental factors. Severe myopia is associated with an increased risk of glaucoma, retinal detachment, and cataracts.

About 15-49% of adults affected by this disease. Occurrence is similar in both males and females. People suffering from myopia experiences symptoms such as headaches, eyestrain, squinting and difficulty seeing distant objects, such as highway signs. It affects 1% of rural Nepalese, 4% of South Africans, 12% of Americans, and 37% in large Chinese cities. It may also be caused by a deficiency of vitamin A.

It is common in toddlers, but very common in people over the age of 6 years. The important risk factor of myopia is a genetic and environmental factor. Environmental factor includes reading, writing, and visual work, and leisure time spent in front of screen media like a computer and handling a video game. Putting stress on the eye significantly increases the risk of myopia and watching television in excess may also lead to myopia. Treatment of myopia can be done with the help of glasses2.

Myopia is not a disease rather it is a refractive error or a refractive defect of the eye. These conditions are optical conditions that prevent the light to get properly refracted and the image is not formed on the retina4. However high degrees of short-sightedness can increase a person’s risk for eye diseases, such as glaucoma and retinal detachment. Some people may have blurred distance vision only at night. In dark conditions, the pupil size is increased and unfocused light rays to enter the eye.

Certain other disease related to myopia may have a rare occurrence. For instance, simultaneous deafness and myopia syndrome is a rare condition in children. This condition begins at birth or after a few years. People suffering from this condition have progressive hearing loss3. The condition is caused due to gene mutation. Another rare disease related to myopia is degenerative myopia. This condition is also known as pathological or malignant myopia. The condition is genetic and usually begins at early childhood4.


Nearsightedness is not a rare condition. It is the most common refractive error of eyes. This condition is characterized by blurred far objects. Condition is commonly found in people of all ages and gender. This condition may be treated effectively with glasses that focus the light on the retina.


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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 28, 2022

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