Myopia - a Quick Review

Myopia - A Quick Review


Elspeth Wrigley


BVisSc | MOptom | Ophthalmic Medicines Prescriber


 Elspeth completed her Bachelor of Vision Science in 2011 with a Masters in Optometry, with distinction, in 2013 from QUT.

Elspeth is therapeutically qualified and has a strong interest in the Ageing Eye and Chronic Eye Conditions.

Myopia, also known as short sightedness, is a type of refractive error where close objects appear clear, but distant objects appear blurry.

Some of the signs and symptoms of myopia include:

•Difficulty seeing distant objects (E.g. board at school, TV)




Myopia can affect both children and adults. The condition affects about 30% of Australians. We still do not know exactly why myopia occurs in some people and not in others. Some of the risk factors for myopia development include:

•Increased amounts of close-up work and the intensity of near work

•Family history of myopia

•Limited time spent outdoors

Studies have found that the age of onset of myopia is linked to the duration of progression and the resultant amount of myopia. Therefore, your optometrist will often try to reduce the rate of progression in these patients. Some of the methods of trying to reduce the myopia include:

•Special multifocal/progressive glasses

•Soft multifocal Contact lenses

•Hard Contact lenses (Ortho-K)

•Low dose Atropine eye drops

•Visual hygiene, i.e. making sure that you have good lighting when doing close-up work, a good working distance and regular breaks

Some interesting points about myopia from recent research include:

•First born children are more likely to be myopic.

Increased outdoor activity can have a protective mechanism for preventing the initial onset of myopia but unfortunately it is not effective in slowing progression once it has started.