Myopia Definition

In myopia or short sightedness, objects in the distance are blur to the viewer but objects that are near are clear. Optically, objects in the distance are focused in front of the retina of the eye.


Normal eye: distant light rays are focused on to the retina. Credit: AAO

myopia definition

Myopic eye: distant light rays are focused in front of the retina. Credit: AAO

Myopia tends to develop during childhood and is a result of elongation of the eyeball. The increase of myopia slows down after puberty. Children who spend more time outdoors are thought to be less likely to develop myopia. In older people who develop myopia in their twilight years, the cause is development of cataract (index myopia).

The condition is called high myopia when the power is above -6 diopters.

Myopia treatment

Myopia can be corrected by wearing glasses, contact lenses or undergoing refractive surgery. Myopia increase can be slowed down by atropine eye drop treatment. Myopia glasses lenses are plano concave in design.

myopia corrective lens

Myopic eye with concave lens in front of the eye. Credit: AAO

Myopia Complications

Myopia complications include macular degeneration, choroidal neovascularisation, retinal tears and retinal detachments. Glaucoma is also associated with the condition.