Do Adults Get Myopia or Only Children?

Myopia, often referred to as being nearsighted, is a common eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The primary characteristic of myopia is the inability to see distant objects clearly. It's like viewing the world through a camera lens that is perpetually out of focus. Objects close to you are clear, but those far away are blurry and indistinct. This condition, although not life-threatening, can significantly impact your quality of life.


Myopia typically begins in childhood and progresses throughout the teenage years. However, recent studies suggest that adults, too, can develop myopia. So, let's delve deeper into this eye condition and understand who can get myopia.


Understanding Myopia: Who Gets It?


Myopia affects people of all ages and demographics. However, it's most commonly diagnosed during childhood and adolescence. The reason for this is that our eyes continue to grow and change shape until we reach adulthood. As a result, any changes to the shape of our eyes during this time can lead to myopia.


However, myopia isn't exclusive to children and adolescents. Adults can also develop this condition. Adult-onset myopia is often due to lifestyle factors like excessive screen time or reading. In some cases, it may be caused by structural changes in the eyes due to aging.


Myopia in Children


In children, myopia often occurs because the eyeball grows too long, causing light to focus in front of the retina rather than directly on it. This results in blurry distance vision. Children with myopia often have difficulty seeing the blackboard at school or watching a movie from the back row.


Myopia in children can progress rapidly, with their prescription strength increasing every year. This progression can lead to high myopia, which increases the risk of severe eye problems later in life, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment.

The primary cause of myopia in children is genetic. If both parents are myopic, there's a higher chance that their children will also be myopic. However, environmental factors like spending too much time indoors or doing near work can also contribute to the development and progression of myopia in children.


Myopia in Adults


Now, let's turn our attention to adults. Is adult-onset myopia a fact or a myth? As it turns out, it's a fact. Adults can, and do, develop myopia. Unlike in children, where the condition is often due to the physical growth of the eyeball, adult-onset myopia is typically lifestyle-related.


Extended periods of near work, such as reading or using a computer, can cause the eyes to strain and adapt to this close focus, leading to myopia. Similarly, insufficient exposure to natural light can also contribute to the development of myopia in adults.


Adult-onset myopia can be a significant adjustment, especially if you've enjoyed perfect vision for most of your life. However, with the right corrective measures and lifestyle modifications, it's a condition that can be managed effectively.


Myopia and Aging: The Connection

As we age, our eyes undergo various changes. One such change is the thickening and hardening of the lens inside our eyes. This can alter the way light enters our eyes, leading to vision problems like myopia.


Age-related myopia, also known as presbyopia, is a common condition that affects almost everyone over the age of 40. The symptoms of presbyopia are similar to those of regular myopia - difficulty seeing distant objects clearly. However, unlike myopia which develops in childhood or early adulthood, presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process and cannot be prevented.


While the connection between myopia and aging is clear, it's important to remember that myopia is a manageable condition. With the right treatment and care, you can continue to lead a normal and productive life.




Living with myopia, whether it's child-onset or adult-onset, can be challenging. It can impact your daily activities and affect your quality of life. However, it's not a death sentence. With the right corrective measures, such as glasses, contact lenses, or surgery, you can restore your vision and continue to enjoy the world in sharp focus.


Regardless of whether you're dealing with myopia as a child or an adult, it's vital to have regular eye exams. Early detection and treatment can help slow the progression of the condition and reduce the risk of severe eye problems in the future.


In conclusion, myopia is a condition that affects people of all ages. It's not limited to children, as adults can also develop this condition due to various factors. But with the right care and treatment, it's a condition that can be managed effectively.


For information on myopia in adults and children, contact DaVinci Eye Care at our Warminster, Pennsylvania office. Call (215) 443-8580 to schedule an appointment today.