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A Short description of Short Sight

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Short sight also called as Myopia , is an eye condition , where one can see well at short distance, eg : books or mobile. Myopics are unable to see objects that are far, like a projector or person at a distance.

Should a parent panic if child is myopic ?

Myopia is not a disease per se , but is categorized as a refractive error which if recognized early in life can be completely corrected with the right spectacles .

What is astigmatism?

Myopia is called simple if only spherical concave lenses can correct it . If one has astigmatism , cylindrical lenses are needed for correction

Simple myopia is structurally due to length of eyeball and astigmatism is due to change in corneal curvature

Why is early correction needed ?

Early detection and correction of myopia , ensures the eye develops normally and prevents amblyopia ( lazy eye ) which is seen in those who did not get refractive errors corrected in early childhood

How is myopia treated ?

The temporary methods to correct myopia are glasses or/ or contact lenses .

Permanent methods are surgeries like LASIK ( laser assisted in situ Keratomileusis) or Phakic IOL /IOCL ( intra ocular contact lenses )

Can everyone undergo surgery to get rid of glasses?

Surgeries are not for every eye but only for adults in age group of 18 + , whose eyes are pre evaluated and found to be suitable for these procedures

Can a myope lead a normal life ?

Myopia is not a disease which parents need to panic about , and children with this condition can lead a normal life and engage in academics and sports , like all other kids .

In fact some famous cricketers , tennis players ,film stars , academicians and scientists are myopes

Is myopia always inherited from parents ?

Myopia tends to be familial and children whose parents wear glasses , must be screened at pre school age with higher suspicion . However it can jump generations and present in children whose parents have perfectly normal eye sight

Why does the doctor dilate pupils to check a myope ?

A myopic eye ball is large and the retina ( eye nerve ) tends to be thin and stretched . In extreme cases can have holes or tears . Hence at every visit to an eye specialist , it’s advisable to undergo detailed examination of retina after dilatation of pupils . Sometimes barrage laser to seal these defects may be needed . Annual retinal screening is necessary even if one undergoes laser and attains freedom from glasses .

In young children such pupil dilatation is necessary to arrive at the correct spectacle power .

Does the power of eye go on increasing ?

Progression of myopia stops anywhere from 18 to 21 years of age , but in a small subset of people power tends to keep rising . This is called Progressive myopia.

Prolonged viewing of light emitting hand held gadgets have been suspected to keep the myopia gene more activated and hence progressive myopia could be on a rise nowadays

Myths and facts

A myth about myopia is that if one wears glasses he /she gets cured of it . In reality, glasses can only correct the error but cannot cure it .

Another myth is that if one wears glasses , the power stops rising . The fact is that , power change is an independent factor and happens according to genetically predetermined levels in the person , influenced minimally by serum vitamin D levels or near activity, but can’t be stopped or reversed by glasses

Which are the eye diseases a myope should be watchful about?

High myopes are at a greater risk for developing glaucoma ( high pressure in the eye ) and retinal detachment ( separation of retinal layers leading to sudden drop in vision )

They can even develop age related macular degenerations or macular holes later in life owing to thin retina ..

Hence annual checkup with a qualified ophthalmologist is a must for every myope to enjoy a lifetime of clear vision.

Author: Dr. Jayashree K Bhat (MBBS, DNB - Ophthalmology, Founder & Senior Ophthalmologist)


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