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What is myopia?

Myopia is a common sight condition that's predominantly diagnosed in children. People who have myopia will struggle to see objects in the distance whilst having no issues seeing things closer to them.

Myopia diagnoses are increasing and around 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected.

Signs your child may be affected by myopia:

  • Sitting close to the TV holding digital devices close to their face 
  • Sitting near the front at school to see the board
  • Complaining of headaches or tired eyes often
  • Rubbing their eyes

Eye tests

Eye tests are important for diagnosing sight problems and other health issues and should be carried out every two years (go sooner if you think there's a problem with your sight). If you believe you or your child are experiencing short sightedness, a visit to one of your expert optometrists should be arranged.

The optometrist can diagnose sight problems and dispense a prescription for glasses or contact lenses to correct vision.

What causes myopia?

Short sightedness occurs when the eyes grow slightly too long and light doesn't focus on the retina properly. In a myopic eye, the light rays focus just short of the retina in distant appearing blurred.

It's not clearly why this happens but it can be hereditary and has also been linked to focusing on nearby objects such as books and computers for too long during childhood.

Treatments

  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Laser eye surgery - this treatment isn't suitable for children but can be the perfect solution for fixing myopia in adults
  • Lens replacement - an artificial lens is inserted into the eyes to help focus correctly

Related eye problems

Those with untreated myopia are more at risk in developing other eye problems including:

  • Squint - common in childhood 
  • Lazy eye - develops in childhood where vision in one eye doesn't develop properly
  • Glaucoma - damage to the optic nerve through the build-up of pressure  of fluid behind your eye
  • Cataracts - as we age, cloudy patches from inside the eyes' lens 
  • Retinal detachment - the retina becomes detached from the back of the eye.
Book an eye test