What is Myopia? Near Sightedness / Short Sightedness
Myopia, also known as short sightedness or near sightedness, is a very common eye condition that can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. If your vision is clear when looking at things close to you, but objects that are further away are out of focus or blurred, you may have myopia.
What are the causes of myopia or short sightedness?
Myopia or Short Sightedness is caused due to the elongation of the eye (from front to back), or if the cornea is too powerful for the length of your eye. The light focuses in front of the retina, making distant objects appear blurry.
You can become short sighted or near sighted at any age, however, in most cases, the condition starts around childhood or early teens. You are more likely to develop it if one or both or your parents are also short sighted.
Spending a lot of time focusing your eyes on objects in close proximity to your eyes, such as reading, writing and looking at hand-held devices (phones and tablets) as well as computers can also increase your risk of developing short sightedness. Spending time playing outside as a child may help reduce the onset of becoming short sighted; the latest evidence* indicates that higher levels of natural light are beneficial.
*Walline J, Myopia control – a review. ECL 2016; 42 (1):3-8
What are the Symptoms of Myopia or Short Sightedness?
Myopia or Short sightedness causes objects further away to appear out of focus or blurred, which can affect your vision when you are driving, playing sports or trying to recognise people and objects at a distance. This can lead to eyestrain, headaches and fatigue.
Symptoms of Myopia may include:
- Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
- The need to squint or partially close the eyelids to see clearly
- Headaches caused by eyestrain
- Difficulty seeing while driving a vehicle, especially at night (night myopia)
How to know if you have Myopia?
If you think you might be short sighted, use our search tool to find an Eye Care Professional near you to schedule an eye examination. The examination will determine if you are short sighted, and determine the prescription that you need for glasses or contact lenses to correct it.
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†Please note professional eye examination and fitting fees may apply. GCC residents 18 or over only. One trial per person. Eligibility subject to Eye Care Professional approval. Participating Eye Care Professionals only. See link for full terms and conditions.