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The Eye Practice
The Eye Practice
About myopia.


Myopia (or near sightedness) is a condition where nearby objects appear in focus, but distant objects look blurry.

About myopia

Myopia is a vision disorder where the eye fails to focus correctly. It results in distant objects appearing blurry, while nearby objects look normal. For this reason myopia is also known as near-sightedness or short-sightedness.

Myopia FAQS

Myopia is a condition that causes light to focus in front of the retina, rather than on the retina itself. There are two reasons why this happens: Either the eyeball is too long, or the cornea is misshapen.

Cross section of a normal eye and an eye with myopia.

Nearby objects appear in focus, but distant objects look blurry.

Myopia does not have a single cause, but rather is the result of genetic and environmental factors. A person’s ethnic origin, as well as reduced time spent outdoors, may increase the likelihood of developing the condition.

It is one of the most common eye disorders. Indeed, it affects about 30% of the population. However, it is more common among those of Asian descent where up to 80% of people suffer the condition.

Yes, both eyes are usually affected.

It usually starts in school age children and typically progresses until about age 20. However, it may also develop in adults. In particular those with other eye conditions or diabetes.

Yes, it gets worse with age if not treated. Typically it will stabilise between the ages of 20 and 30.

Yes, myopia can be successfully treated. The most common treatments are atropine eye drops, orthokeratology and multifocal contact lenses. Each of these aim to slow down or stop the progression of the disorder. An optometrist might also prescribe glasses to correct long-distance vision.  Recently, myopia control spectacle lenses called Miyosmart have become a viable alternative to contact lenses for accurate vision correction.

Free myopia eBook

What it looks like to have Myopia

Myopia causes far away objects to look blurry, while nearby objects appear in-focus.

When to see an optometrist

If someone’s distance vision is impacting on their ability to work, study, drive or even see the ball at a footy match they should see an optometrist.

It’s best to do this as soon as symptoms become apparent, especially for younger people. Delaying a visit to the optometrist could result in less effective treatment.

Myopia advice

Get regular checkups

Myopia can happen gradually. So much so that people might not realise their long distance vision is deteriorating. Regular optometrist checkups can detect myopia before it becomes a problem.

Adults without symptoms should have their eyes checked at least every 3 years. Children should see an optometrist at age 6-months, 3-years and then every 2 years thereafter.

Be mindful of the risk factors

Certain risk factors increase the chances of myopia. These include ethnic background, time spent on computers and limited outdoor activity. People with an increased risk should seek advice from an optometrist.


Myopia (or near sightedness) can cause complications, some more severe than others. These include:

Lifestyle impacts.
Nearsightedness can impact on the ability to work, play and even enjoy sport.

Eye strain.
People with uncorrected nearsightedness tend to squint in order to bring objects into focus. This can result in damaging eye strain.

Danger when driving.
People with uncorrected nearsightedness risk injuring themselves and others in driving accidents.

Financial impacts.
Corrective lenses, glasses and follow-up treatment can be expensive. People with myopia can suffer a financial burden as a result of their condition.

Long term impacts.
People who develop myopia are at increased risk of getting other serious eye diseases as they age. These include retinal detachment, glaucoma and myopic macular degeneration, as well as developing cataracts earlier than normal.

Dr. Jim Kokkinakis can help

Dr. Jim Kokkinakis has been helping myopia sufferers improve their vision for over 30 years. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Optometry School UNSW which means you can benefit from his knowledge of the latest research and development in the field.

If you suffer nearsightedness Dr. Kokkinakis can help. He can guide you through the treatment options, fit corrective lenses and recommend a solution tailored especially for you.

  Book online now

Learn more about myopia

Eye diseases caused by myopia

Myopia can cause eye disease like cataract, glaucoma and retinal detachment. It happens when the eye elongates, stretching delicate tissues.

  • Orthok lenses.

Ortho-K lenses

Ortho k lenses are a special kind of hard contact lens worn at night to reduce, eliminate or prevent myopia.

  • Myopia soft multifocal contact lenses.

Myopia multifocal contact lenses

Myopia multifocal contact lenses are especially designed to treat myopia in children. They can slow, halt or even reverse myopia.

  • Myopia treatment options.

Myopia treatment

Optometrists can treat myopia, or nearsightedness, effectively. Indeed, early treatment can even stop someone’s vision worsening.

  • Ortho-k contact lenses are used for myopia.

Ortho-k for myopia

Ortho-k contact lenses are used to treat myopia. Worn at night, they gently correct the shape of the eye to give clear distance vision.

  • Atropine eye drops can be used to treat myopia in children..

Atropine eye drops

Atropine eye drops can be used to successfully treat myopia in children.

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