What is Myopia?

A quick introduction

Myopia is more commonly known as short-sightedness and is a condition where people cannot see far away objects clearly (for example text on a TV screen, number plates when driving or the whiteboard in a classroom). It is usually caused by the eye being longer than average creating a blurred, out-of-focus image on the back of the eye (retina).

You can read more detailed information about the condition on our Myopia  page

Why is progressive myopia so important?

Myopia is more than just having to wear glasses or contact lenses to help you see better. As your child’s myopia worsens (or progresses), they will be more likely to develop serious eye diseases later in life like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment. If untreated these can result in irreversible vision loss or blindness.

Progression of myopia usually occurs during childhood but can continue into early adult years. Typically, the worsening myopia is caused by continuing elongation of the eyeball which stretches and weakens the retina (the back layer of the eye).

What are the risk factors in developing progressive myopia?

There are several risk factors which can increase the likelihood of your child developing progressive myopia.

  • Developing myopia at a young age
  • Having one or both parents who are myopic (a 3x increased risk when one parent is also myopic; 6x increased risk if both parents have myopia)
  • Being of Asian Ethnicity (especially East Asian)
  • Doing a lot of near visual work such as reading, using handheld electronic devices and computers.
  • Spending little time outdoors in ‘natural light’ (& away from close visual tasks)