What is myopia?
Myopia, commonly referred to as short-sightedness, is a condition in which light is focused in front of the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Short-sighted people can often see reasonably clearly at close distances, but will have difficulty seeing distant objects.
There is currently no cure for myopia, but spectacles, contact lenses and refractive surgery can all provide good distance vision for people with myopia.
How can I tell if I am shortsighted?
Short-sighted people have difficulty in seeing distant objects clearly. They may find it hard to read road signs and to play ball games. Recognising people in the distance may be a problem for many short-sighted people. Often a person will not realise that they cannot see clearly but an eye examination by an optometrist will reveal the problem.
How can I tell if my child is shortsighted?
A complete eye test is the only sure way of determining whether your child’s vision is normal. Some clues to myopia in a child are:
- Screwing up eyes to see distant objects.
- Difficulty reading the blackboard at school.
- Poor posture while reading.
- Lack of interest in playing outdoor games.
What causes myopia?
The exact causes of myopia are not known. At various times people have blamed excessive amounts of reading, poor metabolism, poor diet, poor light, poor posture and genetic factors. Recent research has shown that the development of myopia is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
Can myopia be cured?
Despite ongoing research, a cure for myopia has not yet been found. Properly prescribed glasses or contact lenses will enable a person with myopia to see clearly. Laser surgery to reshape the front surface of the eye can also help some people with myopia.
How common is myopia?
It is a very common condition. About 20 per cent of the Australian population is short-sighted. Usually myopia begins to develop in teenage years and it may get worse over the following few years.
Is there a way to slow down the progression of myopia?
There is an increasing prevalence of short-sightedness in children and adolescents. Due to this, research is ever-evolving to investigate ways in which to stop the individual’s prescription from progressing too quickly. Our optometrists maintain up-to-date knowledge in the field of myopia control, and are proficient in prescribing appropriate control interventions such as:
- Orthokeratology contact lenses
- Soft multifocal contact lenses
- Low-dose mydriatic eye drops
If you or your family member are interested in knowing more about this, please contact our store.
For more information regarding myopia, visit: World Council of Optometry.