Nearsightedness (Myopia): Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Picture of eyes showing normal vision and nearsightedness

If you are nearsighted, you have trouble seeing things in the distance. Faraway objects look blurry and out of focus. You may have trouble clearly seeing images or words on a blackboard, movie screen, or television. But you can see things near you, close to your face.

Most nearsightedness is caused by a natural change in the shape of the eyeball that makes the eyeball oval (egg-shaped) rather than round. This causes light rays that enter the eye to focus in front of the retina rather than directly on it.

Eyeglasses or contact lenses can help correct nearsightedness. Several types of surgery can also be done to reduce or fix nearsightedness.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Reduce eyestrain

  • Wear eyeglasses or contact lenses as prescribed.
  • Provide good light for reading, work, or study. Use a soft background light plus a light on your task.
  • Take frequent breaks when you do close work that can be hard on your eyes. Blink often, and close and rest your eyes when they feel tired or dry.
  • Avoid glare on TV and computer screens. Place your TV or computer screen where lights do not reflect on the screen. Some people find it easier to work on a computer in a dimly lit room. Special nonglare screens that fit over the computer screen are also available.

Keep your eyes healthy

  • Have eye examinations as often as your doctor recommends.
  • Wear sunglasses to block harmful sunlight. Buy sunglasses that screen out ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) rays.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your vision suddenly gets worse.
  • You see flashes of light or new floaters, or you see a "curtain" over your vision. These are signs of a retinal detachment.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not see as well as you think you should after you started wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • You have problems wearing your contact lenses.
  • You need help adjusting to reduced vision.
  • Your vision is slowly getting worse.

Where can you learn more?

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Current as of: May 23, 2016