Myopia is a vision condition in which close objects are seen more clearly, but distant objects appear blurred. In many ways, myopia is the opposite of hyperopia. Light is focused too far forward in the eye and the focal point is located in front of the retina making vision appear blurred and out of focus in the distance.
Short sightedness is a very common vision condition affecting nearly 30% of the general population. Some research supports the theory that short sightedness is hereditary. There is also growing evidence that it is influenced by the visual stress caused by too much close work.
Generally, myopia first occurs in school-age children and often keeps progressing before stabilising in early adulthood. It is thought that occupations and activities that require a lot of sustained near point detail predispose people to the development of myopia. Myopia may therefore also develop in adulthood due to near point visual stress but may also be associated with health conditions such as diabetes and cataracts.
A common sign of myopia is difficulty with seeing distant objects, like a movie, TV screen or the whiteboard at school clearly. A comprehensive optometric examination will include testing for myopia. An optometrist can prescribe glasses or contact lenses that correct short sightedness by bending light to focus the images accurately on the retina. Lenses which correct myopia typically make images look smaller and are thicker on the edges. As with hyperopia, myopic corrections often also include some correction for astigmatism.
- Contact lenses
- Refractive surgery (laser correction)
- Corneal remodelling with contact lenses (Corneal refractive surgery or orthokeratology)