Your Prescription Explained: Short Sightedness

After your sight test, you may have been told that you are short sighted (or myopic in optician speak) – this basically means that you have difficulty seeing things far away but can usually see close up quite well. The degree of difficulty you have in seeing things far away depends on the strength of the lens you need to correct it.

The cause of myopia is either because the eyeball is too long, or the front of it (the cornea) is too curved. This causes light entering the eye from a distance to be focused in front of the retina, rather than on the retina.

Children often become myopic as they get older because the eye may grow too long. A child that sits too close to the TV or is much more interested in near-range tasks such as reading should be examined by an optometrist.

Myopia is easily corrected by prescription glasses with a negative powered (-) concave, spherical lens (thicker on the edges than in the middle) and if the person has a strong prescription, there are a wide range of thinner and lighter lens options available.

Contact lenses are a great option for correcting myopia as they will usually give better vision than glasses (unless the person has a high degree of astigmatism).

Even a tiny degree of uncorrected (or under corrected) myopia can drop a person’s vision below legal driving standard, and as you can get more myopic very slowly, it usually goes unnoticed and a patient feels they can see everything OK when in fact, they need their prescription strengthening.

So it is very important to have regular eye tests at least every two years – especially if you are a driver.