Short-sightedness or myopia is where you can see up close (short) but not as well in the distance. When very short sighted even the close vision can be blurry.
Short-sightedness is very common with about 15% of the population being affected.
How can I tell if my child is short-sighted?
- Difficulty seeing things in the distance
- Squinting to see better
- Holding things very close to read
- Problems seeing the board at school or needing to sit near the front
How is it measured?
Short-sightedness is measured during the eye examination when we check what your child can see on the eye chart.
How is it corrected?
Most commonly short-sightedness is corrected using spectacles and/or contact lenses. Eye surgery such as laser eye surgery (LASIK) is usually not considered until the eye has finished changing about 22 years of age.
How do we stop it getting worse?
There has been a lot of reseach done on how to slow short-sightedness from getting worse.
There are 3 main correction options thave have shown a reduction in myopia progression.
- Spectacles that reduce the stimulus for the myopia to worsen particularly when looking up close. This is particularly important in a subgroup of patients who tend to turn their eyes in too much when reading (near esophoria). By using a near addition we are able to reduce that stimulus and slow progression.
- Contact lenses such as Orthokeratology which is wearing a hard contact lens at night to reshape the cornea so during the day the vision is clear without having to wear glasses.
- Multifocal contact lenses which aim to reduce the near focus demand on the visual system and reduce the stimulus to become more myopic.
Do eye exercises help?
Eye exercises can help to support the normal functioning of the visual system by training the eye muscles to work together with the focussing of the eye. Sadly they cannot correct short-sightedness as that is related to the physical shape of the ocular system and length of the eye.