Myopia is the inability to see objects at a distance. Objects may appear blurry or fuzzy until their distance is reduced, at which point details of the image finally become crisp. Those with myopia may be able see the shape of a street sign from a distance, for example, but they may not be able to read the street name until getting closer. Because those with myopia can clearly see images close to them, the condition is commonly referred to as nearsightedness.

Myopia is caused by a refractive error in which the eye is unable to properly refract, or bend light, preventing it from focusing on an image. With normal vision, light bends as it passes through the eye's cornea and lens and is then focused on the retina, where images are converted to signals that are interpreted by the brain. If the eyeball or cornea is misshapen, the light does not refract properly, which shifts the focus and blurs the image. Myopia is a common eye disorder, diagnosed in nearly one-fourth of the population. For most people, it is easily managed through the use of eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. In severe cases, called high myopia, there may be a risk of tearing or developing holes in the retina, which could lead to a detached retina.


The specialists at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital use the most advanced technology and are known for working together to treat the full range of both common and complex corneal problems. From cataract and corneal surgeries to highly specialized contact lenses, Callahan features the expertise, experience, and cutting-edge equipment needed to treat the most challenging corneal conditions. Patients come here from around the world and nation because we don’t just treat eye disease – we empower patients to take control of their eye health.

Callahan is the only full-service facility in Alabama specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of the eye and one of only a few worldwide that is entirely devoted to advancements in ophthalmology. That reputation is supported by 16 operating rooms dedicated to eye surgery and a 24/7 eye emergency room that is the region’s only Level I Ocular Trauma Center. More than 11,000 surgeries are performed at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital each year, and we conduct more reconstructive eye procedures than any other facility in the world.

Our facility is home to more than two dozen ophthalmologists, many of whom are named among the top doctors in their fields nationally. Callahan is widely recognized for excellence in patient care, having consistently earned prestigious awards from health care consulting group Press Ganey, and in 2017 Callahan was named as one of the “100 Great Places to Work in Healthcare” by Becker’s Hospital Review.

Callahan also is known for pioneering developments in surgical instruments, devices, and procedures used by ophthalmologists across the globe. As part of the UAB Medicine academic medical center, Callahan is actively involved in ongoing research and clinical trials. Many of our ophthalmologists have received funding from prestigious research organizations and institutions and collaborate in clinical care to bring the latest in scientific discovery to our patients.





UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of myopia. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials