Myopia, or nearsightedness, affects kids and adults alike. It’s a common condition we can often treat with glasses or corrective surgery. If you’re concerned about your vision or eye health, read on to discover if you may be nearsighted.

What is nearsightedness?

Myopia means you struggle to see things at a distance. It’s the opposite of hyperopia, or farsightedness, which is when someone finds it hard to see things up close. 

  • Myopia can develop quickly, but it’s more common for you to notice changes over time.
  • The condition often runs in families.  

What causes nearsightedness?

Myopia occurs when the light entering your eye isn’t focused correctly. Rather than reaching the retina, the light focuses in front of it. This happens either because there’s a curve in your cornea or your eyeball is a little longer than normal. Some forms of myopia are more severe than others.

What are the symptoms of nearsightedness?

The most common symptom is blurred vision when you’re looking at objects in the distance. The object appears clear and normal when it’s only a few feet away. For nearsightedness in kids, the first sign is often that they’re struggling to read the classroom blackboard or projector screen. They might rub their eyes more often or blink a lot.

Other symptoms include:

  • Headaches, often caused by eyestrain
  • Squinting to see clearly 
  • Eye fatigue

You should see an eye specialist if you have any symptoms of myopia. Seek emergency care if you or your child develops any of the following symptoms:

  • A sudden appearance of “floaters,” which are tiny, floating specks in your vision 
  • Sudden changes to existing floaters
  • Light flashes in one or both eyes
  • The appearance of a dark “curtain” over your vision in one or both eyes 

These symptoms may suggest a more serious eye condition that requires urgent care. 

How is nearsightedness in children and adults diagnosed?

We can diagnose myopia through a simple eye exam. Even if you don’t have any noticeable eye health problems, you should schedule regular eye exams to check for hidden conditions or subtle changes.

  • Children: at least once before age three, and every two years during the school years
  • Adults over 18: once every two years, or more frequently if you’re at risk of serious eye conditions such as glaucoma 

Book a consultation with one of our ophthalmologists if you suspect you or your child has myopia.

Do I need glasses if I’m nearsighted?

If you’re nearsighted, you’ll be offered glasses and/or contact lenses to correct your vision. It’s important you wear them to help you feel more comfortable.

Don’t want to wear glasses? You might be a candidate for eye surgery if you have myopia. Laser surgery corrects visual changes and usually means you won’t need glasses anymore.

Our ophthalmologists can help you decide if laser eye surgery is right for you.

Does nearsightedness get better?

Not on its own, no. However, your eyes tend to stop changing after your teenage years, so your prescription might not change much after this point. This isn’t always the case, though. Our expert ophthalmologists can give you more information.

How the George St Eye Centre can help

Do you have myopia? At the George St Eye Centre, Sydney’s premier laser eye surgery, we offer a range of corrective treatments to improve nearsightedness. If you’re aged 18 or over, contact our expert team today to find out more about how we can help you live a life free from eye health problems.

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