Nearsightedness is a common refractive error, also known as myopia. Myopia occurs when your eye is too long in relation to the curvature of your cornea. This causes light entering your eye to focus in front of the retina instead of precisely on the retina. If you have nearsightedness, you will have difficulty seeing things far away. People with severe myopia may only be able to see objects clearly when they are just a few inches away.