Ophthalmology Procedures

Nearsightedness (Myopia) Treatment in Chicago, IL

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a common vision condition affecting about ⅓ of the US population. A thorough exam by Dr. Kraff at the Kraff Eye Institute at our Chicagoland location will determine if you have this condition, how to treat your myopia, and if myopia surgery may be right for you.

What Is Myopia?

what does myopia look like

Myopia is a common eye condition where the light that enters the eye is not focused directly onto the retina but instead falls in front of it. This abnormality causes images in the distance to be out of focus.

Children and teens are typically affected by progressive myopia, meaning corrections required for vision clarity increases overtime periods. There is also high myopia, a rare type of eye nearsightedness that is often inherited. Individuals with high myopia often have extreme prescriptions that require they rarely, if ever, to go without glasses or contact lenses.

In contrast to myopia, which affects distant vision, hyperopia causes difficulties with close-up vision. Astigmatism, on the other hand, distorts vision both far and near. This condition is often accompanied by myopia and hyperopia.

And lastly, presbyopia, which manifests as difficulty with near vision. Presbyopia generally occurs in one's 40s and can occur alongside myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. Oftentimes, a person who suffers from myopia and presbyopia may experience difficulty with both far and near vision.

myopia treatment

Myopia Symptoms & Signs

Symptoms of myopia, or nearsightedness, can develop gradually or rapidly. Individuals with this myopic eye condition often are diagnosed during childhood or adolescence. Nearsightedness tends to run in families.

Symptoms of myopia include:

  • Blurred vision when looking in the distance;
  • Squinting to see clearly;
  • Headaches;
  • Eye strain;
  • Difficulty driving at night.

Nearsighted individuals may experience all or some of these symptoms of myopia. Nearsightedness does not affect the eyes' health but can be annoying and uncomfortable if left untreated.

Keep in mind that children may not be able to verbalize their symptoms. It’s important to watch for clues such as eye rubbing, excessive blinking, squinting, or sitting too close to the television.

Procedures and Surgeries to Treat Myopia

There is no single 'fix-all' solution to correct myopia. Everyone's needs are different, so it's important to consider all the treatment options available. From prescription eyeglasses to refractive eye surgery, there are various approaches to myopia management; however, only surgery will offer a permanent cure.

nearsightedness myopia

LASIK Refractive Surgery

LASIK works by reshaping the front surface of the eye with a laser so that light rays entering the eye are focused correctly upon the retina. A thin flap is created on the cornea's front surface and gently lifted during the procedure. Once open, the underlying corneal tissue is then reshaped. The flap is gently placed back into place as soon as the reshaping is complete. This process helps the light rays entering the eye to be directed precisely onto the retina for clearer vision.

distant objects

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

PRK is another refractive eye surgery that can improve nearsightedness. Similar to LASIK, the PRK procedure also uses a laser to reshape the eye's front surface, allowing light to fall directly onto the retina of the eye. The difference lies in how the doctor approaches the corneal tissue. During the LASIK procedure, the doctor will create a flap on the cornea to access the underlying corneal tissue; during PRK, the doctor removes the surface cells of the cornea to access the underlying corneal tissue.

myopia progression

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Refractive Lens Exchange is a vision correction procedure similar to cataract surgery in which the natural lenses of the patient's eyes are replaced with intraocular lenses (corrective lenses). Patients who have RLE do not have cataracts. RLE is often done for patients over the age of 40. RLE is a more invasive procedure and is usually performed in a surgical center.

dual focus contact lenses


An implantable contact lens or ICL is placed inside your eye to correct vision problems permanently. It can be positioned in front of or behind your iris, the colored part of your eye. ICL is primarily intended for people over the age of 18 and under the age of 50. ICL is also an invasive procedure, primarily performed in a surgical center.

contact lenses

Wear Glasses and Contact Lenses

Eyeglasses and contact lenses are an effective, non-invasive method of correcting nearsightedness. In recent years, eyeglasses have become more economical — and can also be seen as a fun fashion accessory.

Contact lenses provide an unobstructed view with a full field of focused vision for those seeking a more natural look. This can be especially beneficial for people who are physically active and involved in sports. Now it's even possible to get dual-focus contact lenses.

Request Your Appointment Today!

If you are looking to fix your myopia, schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation today. Or please callto begin planning your mtreatment.

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What Causes Nearsightedness?

Every eye is unique in its shape and dimensions. Myopia, or short-sighted eyes, are typically longer than emmetropic (normal) eyes. When distant light enters a myopic eye, it lands in front of the retina rather than directly on it, so the retina can’t focus light properly. This refractive error causes blurry vision, which is correctable with lenses or surgery.

Myopia generally begins at school-going age and can continue to progress through early adulthood, at which time it tends to stabilize. However, a rare set of individuals with degenerative myopia will continue to advance throughout their lives.

Also known as pathological myopia, this rare condition results in high nearsightedness. Unlike traditional myopia, the degenerative type can lead to significant visual complications. Although many of these complications are treatable, there is still potential for loss of acuity and visual disability. When we talk about myopia, we generally refer to the most common type, not its pathological variant.


When researchers have studied what causes myopia, they have found that genetic factors are at play. If one’s parents are short-sighted, it is more likely that they will be too. There are also environmental myopia causes. Studies have revealed people who spend more time indoors have higher rates of myopia advancement.

Too much time spent on close work, such as reading and computer use, could contribute to myopia progression. While watching television is not a cause of myopia in and of itself, it does mean spending more time indoors. Spending more time outdoors, in contrast, helps to curb myopia progression because the eyes spend more time looking at distant objects. During a child’s development, it’s encouraged that they spend sufficient time outdoors.

Special contact lenses may sometimes be prescribed for children developing myopia to slow its progression. An eye drop called atropine may be prescribed as well for this purpose. Eye exercises may be recommended if there is a problem with the focusing system, such as convergence insufficiency, but these do not treat myopia. Rather, they help the eyes to work together more effectively, minimizing strain.

Myopia Test and Diagnosis

Myopia Test and Diagnosis

A comprehensive eye exam that includes refraction is needed to test for nearsightedness. During the refraction examination, the doctor will measure how light bends when entering the eye. Because the shape of the eye affects how light rays bend and are focused, the doctor can use a series of lenses to assess the degree of myopia the patient has. After the doctor identifies the patient's level of nearsightedness, they can recommend the most suitable treatment.

Nearsightedness Treatment Financial Options

All of the treatment options for nearsightedness come with a range of costs. As of 2022, your Health Savings Account (HSA) or your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can be used to help pay for refractive eye surgery. Many insurance policies will cover all or part of the cost of glasses or contacts. Medicare generally only covers the cost of yearly eye exams and does not cover the cost of myopia treatments.

Reviews for Our Myopia Treatment Services At Kraff Eye, Chicago


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Why Choose Our Kraff Eye Institute Myopia Specialists?

When considering treatment for nearsightedness or myopia, it is imperative to choose a doctor or practice with extensive experience. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Colman Kraff of the Kraff Eye Institute has been at the forefront of laser eye surgery since its inception.

Having participated in the 1991 FDA clinical trials, Dr. Kraff was instrumental in the FDA approval of laser eye surgery in the United States. Dr. Kraff uses the most up-to-date technology available to deliver his patients the most safe and effective treatment options. If you are looking for an eye doctor in the Chicagoland area, look no further than Dr. Colman Kraff.

  • You will not find another Dr. with the amount of experience and expertise as Dr. Colman Kraff.
  • Dr.Kraff uses the most up-to-date technology currently available, contributing to the tremendous success rate his patients achieve.
  • The Kraff Eye Institute is a full-service eye care clinic that can diagnose and treat various eye illnesses.

Schedule Consultation

You can simply CALL US or make an appointment using the online forms at the links below

312-757-7335Schedule Consultation
Schedule Consultation


Is nearsightedness genetic?

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Yes, nearsightedness (or myopia) is an inherited condition passed down from parents to their children. If one parent has myopia, the chances of the children developing the condition increase. The risks are even higher when both parents are nearsighted.

Does myopia get worse with age?

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As you age, myopia (nearsightedness) can worsen. Generally, myopia will stabilize by the age of 25. Still, in some individuals, visual acuity can worsen into their 40s and 50s.

Can myopia lead to blindness?

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No, myopia does not typically lead to blindness. However, in rare cases, it can progress to myopic maculopathy - a condition that damages the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for central vision. This causes blurred vision, distortion, and difficulty seeing fine details.

Can nearsightedness improve with age?

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Generally, the eyes are fully developed by age 20, and your vision is unlikely to improve if you have nearsightedness. If you are worried that your nearsightedness is intensifying, it is important to contact an eye doctor. They will perform an eye test to measure whether your myopia is becoming more serious and suggest the most effective treatment. 

How Long Does It Take to Recover After LASIK Myopia Treatment?

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The recovery time for LASIK myopia treatment is typically very short. Most people experience improved vision within the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. However, the full recovery period is between two to four weeks.