Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common vision condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry.

Nearsightedness may develop gradually or rapidly, often worsening during childhood and adolescence. Nearsightedness tends to run in families.

A basic eye exam can confirm nearsightedness. You can easily correct the condition with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Another treatment option for nearsightedness is surgery.

Nearsightedness symptoms may include:

  • Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
  • The need to squint or partially close the eyelids to see clearly
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain
  • Difficulty seeing while driving a vehicle, especially at night (night myopia)

Nearsightedness is often first detected during childhood and is commonly diagnosed between the early school years through the teens. A child with nearsightedness may:

  • Persistently squint
  • Need to sit closer to the television, movie screen or the front of the classroom
  • Seem to be unaware of distant objects
  • Blink excessively
  • Rub his or her eyes frequently

Click Here for more information on Myopia (Nearsightedness).

Refractive Surgery

The aim of refractive surgery is to reduce a person’s dependence on glasses and contact lenses. This is achieved by treating nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and/or astigmatism.

Most refractive surgery techniques rely on altering the shape of the cornea, the transparent outer layer on the front of the eye. The cornea serves as a fixed-focus lens. As the cornea is respon- sible for about two-thirds of the eye’s focusing power, vision can be improved by permanent reshaping of the cornea. The kind of reshaping needed depends on the eye condition being treated.

Refractive surgery does not enable perfect vision for every patient. Some patients may still need weak prescription glasses or contact lenses. In some cases, results can be modified by further treatment.

Click here to view the RANZCO information sheet on Refractive Surgery.