What Is Myopic Eye Disease?

Myopic eye disease, also known as myopia or nearsightedness, is an eye disorder that causes distant objects to appear blurry while closer objects have a crisp and clear appearance, according to the American Optometric Association. Myopia develops when either the cornea of the eye is curved more than normal or the eyeball itself is longer than normal, as both situations cause the eye to focus incoming images in front of the retina instead of directly on it.

About 25 percent of Americans have myopia, according to the National Eye Institute. In most cases, myopia is first identified in late childhood, typically between the ages of 8 and 12. Some people with nearsightedness experience a worsening of the condition as they get older, while others don't experience significant changes in vision during adulthood. Myopia has a hereditary component, but individuals who experience frequent visual strain, such as those who work with computers all day, can also develop the condition. Having diabetes or cataracts can also cause myopia to develop or worsen.

Eyeglasses and contact lenses are used to correct for myopia and generally restore vision to normal levels. Individuals with severe myopia sometimes opt for refractive surgery or laser procedures to permanently correct the problem, according to the American Optometric Association.