C.R. Williams
26th Nov

What is Short-sightedness and How to Spot it

Short-sightedness (also known as myopia) is, as the name suggests a condition were the eye focuses at a close distance but cannot see far vision clearly.

This is because the focussing power of the eye is too great for the size of the eye. It’s a bit like looking far away and then introducing a magnifying glass in front of the eye - you have to get closer to the object to get it back into focus.

How to spot short-sightedness

Now, obviously there are different grades of the problem, from just a little fuzziness on road signs at 100 meters in mild short-sightedness, to literally not seeing beyond the end of your nose in the other extreme.

There is often a strong link through the family of myopia, with children often starting to have problems as they approach secondary school age; increasing as they grow. Children often leave it quite a long time before they complain about their vision, finding other ways (sometimes subconsciously) to overcome any blur: e.g. copying their friends; walking to the front of the class to see the board; or screwing their eyes up to help the focus.

Of course, if screwing your eyes sorts the problem, then why do we need glasses? Well continually tightening the muscles in the lids and disrupt concentration, let alone the problem of speeding up the formation of wrinkles around the eyes.

How common is it?

The world is gradually becoming more myopic; especially in Asian / Oriental countries (figures suggest that up to 90% of children are myopic in those regions). It is thought that it may be associated with time spent indoors. Whereas Australia has a much lower myopia rate which fits with the outdoor lifestyle lived there. One of the latest theories is that the difference is due to daylight itself rather than looking to long distances more regularly.

Getting a regular eye check will allow the Optometrist to give you the best advice on how your vision is likely to develop and what correction is going to give you the best vision for your lifestyle.

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