Learn more about Myopia, including The Symptoms, The Causes, and The Treatments.

The information below is not intended for self diagnose of an eye condition. If you are worried or suffering from an eye problem, please call us on 0208 524 2887 and book in to see us.

Bhavita Magudia
Myopia - Explained
February 21, 2019
Back to Common Eye Conditions

What Is Myopia

Myopia is also known as shortsighted or near sightedness. This is where your eyes cannot focus clearly when looking into the distance. When light enters the eye, it passes through the lens inside your eye and then focuses on the retina. If you have myopia or you are short sighted, the light focuses in front of the retina instead of on the retina, this causes blurring of the vision. Myopia is now becoming more common in children and can occur around the age of 8 years old but it can occur at any stage of childhood or adulthood. Majority of patients that have myopia are happily corrected with glasses, contact lenses or laser surgery and their myopia poses little or no risk to their eye health.

Myopia - Symptoms

• Distance vision appears blurry

• Close up or near vision appears normal or better

• Tired eyes

• Headaches from looking in the distance for too long

• Screwing the eyes up to see better in the distance

• Driving is more difficult, especially at night

• Moving closer to the object to see it clearly

• Rubbing your eyes or forehead when looking at distant objects for too long

Myopia - Causes

• A longer eyeball causing light to focus in front of the retina

• Genetics, myopia tends to run in families

• Cornea or internal lens of the eyes being too curved, causing light to focus in front of the retina

• Spending less time outdoors. Some research is showing less sunshine exposure produces lower levels of the chemical dopamine, which could affect the growth of the eye. Other research has found poor exposure to sunlight may change the molecular structure of the cornea & sclera and stop the eye from keeping a normal shape.

• Some research is showing that screen time, continuous reading and more time in education may give someone a greater risk of developing myopia. However there is no proven link and it does not mean myopia will definitely develop in people that do close-up tasks.

Myopia of over -6.00DS may be at more risk of developing eye conditions such as, cataracts, glaucoma, posterior vitreous detachment and retinal detachment. However not all patients with high myopia will develop these eye conditions.

Myopia - Treatments

• Glasses using concave (curved inwards) lenses, the concave lenses move the light entering the eyes back on to the retina. Your lenses can be treated with special coatings. Anti glare lenses can help reduce glare, transition lenses that act like sunglasses in bright conditions, high index lenses to make your lenses thinner if you have high myopia.

• Contact lenses, soft or hard. The most hygienic and convenient contact lenses are soft daily disposables. Some studies have shown that children with myopia had reduced progression of myopia with contact lens wear

• Laser eye surgery, usually done once a patient’s prescription is stable, in their mid twenties. Laser eye surgery is used to correct the myopia present in your eyes.

1. LASIK - the eye surgeon makes a thin, hinged flap into your cornea. They then use a laser to remove the inner layers of the cornea; this flattens the curved shape of the cornea. The epithelium flap is then moved back onto the cornea. Lasik recovery is usually quick.

2. LASEK - an ultra-thin flap of the epithelium (outermost layer of the cornea) is removed (no flap), a laser is then used to flatten the curved cornea. The epithelium is then placed back on to the laser treated cornea.

3. Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) - has a similar procedure to LASEK, however the epithelium is discarded, and the cornea regrows the epithelium.


• Low-dose Topical atropine drops may also help slow the progression of myopia.

• Increased time outside, studies have shown that sunlight may help reduce changes to the shape of the eyes.

• Orthokeratology is where you sleep in hard contact lenses (gas permeable lenses). The overnight wear changes the shape of the cornea, on waking you remove the contact lens and don’t need to wear anything to correct your vision throughout the day. If you stop wearing the lenses overnight the corneas will return to its original shape and you would need to wear your glasses or other contact lenses throughout the day.

• Peripheral defocus modifying contact lenses keeps your vision focused in the peripheral vision too, possibly helping reduce the progression of myopia.

• Implantable phakic IOL lenses are used as a surgical option for patients with myopia who cannot have laser surgery. A surgically placed lens is inserted into the eye next to the patient’s natural lens to correct high degrees of myopia.

• Multifocal contact lenses to reduce the rate of progression in myopia in children