Myopia (short sight)
A widely held misconception is that myopia corrects itself with age.
Myopia is the term used when people cannot see clearly in the distance without glasses or contact lenses and is due to a focusing problem. Usually, light comes in through the lens of the eye and focuses on the retina. In myopia, the light is focused too far forward in the eye, in front of the retina, which causes things to look blurred in the distance. Though people typically have become short-sighted in their teenage years or twenties, studies suggest it is becoming more prevalent as children spend more time on electronic devices and computers, looking at one focal length.
Causes of Myopia
Several factors probably combine to cause myopia. There is a tendency for myopia to run in families. Myopia usually appears around puberty, but can appear at any age from early childhood. In most cases, myopia stabilises once the body is fully grown, usually in the mid-twenties or earlier. A widely held misconception is that myopia corrects itself with age. Although patients with low-level myopia can read without glasses throughout life, their distance vision remains poor.
Treatments for myopia:
It is generally possible to correct myopia with prescription glasses or contact lenses, using concave (curved inwards) lenses, which move the focus of the light backwards onto the retina, allowing you to see clearly. If you choose contact lenses, daily disposables are the safest type for most patients with myopia.
Laser eye surgery is also an option once your prescription is stable, which usually happens in the mid-twenties or earlier. Laser eye surgery to correct myopia is not available on Medicare.
To find out more about laser and implant-based techniques, please make an appointment with one of our optometrists.