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About myopia.

About myopia

Myopia, also known as shortsightedness, makes it difficult to see distant objects. This guide summarises the condition.

Myopia is a condition that stops the eye focusing on distant objects, that’s why it is also known as short-sightedness.

Myopia usually happens when the eye grows slightly too long, but it can also occur if the cornea is misshapen. Because it starts in childhood it can affect education or even cause blindness, so early myopia treatment is essential.

Myopia FAQS

Myopia is a condition that makes light focus in front of the retina, rather than on the retina itself. So distant object look blurry.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.

What it looks like to have Myopia

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

When to see a Sydney optometrist about myopia

If you live in Sydney and your vision is affecting your ability to work, study, drive or play sport then you should see an optometrist at The Eye Practice.

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.

Advice about myopia

Get regular checkups

Myopia can happen gradually. In fact lots of people don’t realise their distance vision is getting worse. So regular checkups with your optometrist 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.

Remember the risk factors

Some things increase the chances of getting 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 Complications

Myopia can cause complications, some more severe than others. These include:

  • Lifestyle impacts:
    Short-sightedness can impact on the ability to work, play and enjoy sport.
  • Eye strain:
    People with uncorrected short-sightedness tend to squint in order to bring objects into focus. This can result in damaging eye strain.
  • Danger when driving:
    People with uncorrected short-sightedness 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 with myopia

Dr. Jim Kokkinakis has been helping myopia sufferers in Sydney 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 short-sightedness Dr. Kokkinakis can help. He can guide you through the treatment options, fit corrective lenses and recommend a solution tailored especially for you.

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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.

Ortho-K lenses

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

Myopia contact lenses

The Eye Practice in Sydney use contact lenses to treat childhood myopia. These lenses can slow, halt or even reverse myopia.

Myopia treatment in Sydney

Our optometrists can treat myopia, or short-sightedness, effectively. Indeed, early treatment can even stop myopia getting worse.

Ortho-k treatment in Sydney

Our optometrists recommend ortho-k contact lens treatment for myopia. Worn at night, the lenses gently reshape the eye to improve distance vision.

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