How myopia impacts your vision.

Myopia, better known as short-sightedness, is one of the most prevalent vision issues in the world. Myopia is a condition of the eye where close objects appear clear, but at a distance, everything becomes blurry and out of focus.

Here are a few symptoms of short-sightedness you can look out for:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain 
  • Squinting
  • Sitting close to objects (TV or whiteboards)
  • Rubbing eyes (more than usual)

You likely have more questions regarding myopia.

For some people, a change in their eyesight can be a concerning event. To help support, we've answered the most pressing questions from people who experience the symptoms of myopia.

Do screens and computers cause myopia ?

It is a common belief that screen work can cause vision issues. This is partially right. When speaking about myopia, screens are not to blame as digital devices, but rather as another type of very close focus activity. Indeed, some studies suggest that spending too much time on near work activity is a risk factor for myopia, on the contrary, spending time outdoors might reduce the risks.

Can laser surgery cure myopia ?

Yes. Myopia is often caused by an eye that is somewhat longer than normal and laser surgery can correct myopia by reshaping the cornea, the clear window in front of your iris.

But laser surgery should be done only once the eye has stopped growing and stabilized (usually around 25). You should consider before having laser surgery that it won’t prevent presbyopia from developing – so you will still need eyeglasses at a certain point.

Can myopia be cured ?

The progression of myopia can slow down and finally stabilize, but it is not reversible, so you cannot cure myopia. Yet, it is very easy to compensate for the effects of myopia by wearing glasses or contact lenses with the right prescription.

Can myopia cause blindness?

Myopia is often linked to a lengthening/stretching of the eyeball resulting in blurred vision without some form of vision correction, however, there can be some risks associated with higher levels of myopia and it is important that you have your eyes checked regularly or if you have any symptoms such as flashing lights or ‘floaters’ that appear suddenly or unexpectedly.  

Is high myopia dangerous ?

High myopia is used to describe myopia when it is above -6,00 diopters. In most cases, it is just a way of saying that the refractive error is at the higher end and it implies that people with high myopia will have a very low visual acuity without corrective lenses, spectacle or contact lenses.

High myopia is also easy to correct, but in extreme cases, it can have other impacts on eye health, so it is important that people with high myopia have their eyes checked regularly.

What are the different levels of myopia?

Myopia is measured in dioptre. Ophthalmologists consider myopia as light if it is between -0,25 and -3,00, medium between -3,00 and -6,00 and high above -6,00. In any case, myopia is easy to correct thanks to prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Does wearing glasses accelerate myopia?

No, wearing glasses won’t accelerate myopia. On the contrary, having an up-to-date optical prescription will give you back the sharp vision you had at far distances before you developed myopia. In fact, myopia tends to develop when the eye is growing, independently of whether or not you wear glasses. 

When will my myopia stabilise?

There is no simple answer to this question... It depends on the individual and in fact, some people do not develop myopia until they start to do close distance work, for example, university students who spend much time reading and writing assignments on computers at close distances. However, in most cases, myopia will stabilise when the eye stops growing, usually around 25 years of age.

Is it possible to slow down myopia progression?

Much research is being undertaken to make this possible and some first solutions already exist. However, what is known is that children, in particular, should be given the opportunity to relax their eyes after periods of concentrated near-work by routinely taking breaks every hour and taking part in outdoor activities on a regular basis.

What is the main cause of myopia ?

 Myopia occurs due to two main reasons; either the length of the eye is a bit longer than normal and the light from a distant object focuses in front of the retina. The other is that the curvature of the cornea (the clear window at the front of the eye) is a bit more curved than ‘normal’ and so light is bent (refracted) a little too much, bringing it to focus in front of the retina. In both cases, the image does not come to a sharp focus on the retina resulting in the object of interest appearing blurry.

In either case, your optician will determine your optical prescription and advise on the best ways to correct your vision and to restore sharp vision at far distances.

Read more about myopia

If you are looking for more information or looking to share information with someone else, you may find the following articles helpful.

What are the Causes of Myopia?

Have you ever had trouble reading road signs or recognising people at a distance? This could suggest that you have myopia, but it is very easy to manage. Struggling to see distant objects clearly is a common problem with those aged under 40; in fact, around 1 in 4 people across Europe have myopia.

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