About 80 percent of all babies are born farsighted — able to see objects clearly at a distance but less clearly close up. Some five percent are born nearsighted, or unable to see objects at a distance clearly.
Approximately 15 percent are born with nothing wrong with the refractive parts of the eye — the cornea and crystalline lens which bend light and focus it properly on the retina. Farsightedness usually decreases as a child ages, typically normalizing to a negligible value by the age of 7-8.
After a child grows and the incidence of farsightedness decreases, that of nearsightedness increases. Many school-age children and teens first discover they are nearsighted when they have difficulty reading the writing on the board at school. Nearsightedness usually occurs before age 25.
Content provided by the Canadian Association of Optometrists