Eye conditions & symptoms 4 min read

How to Recognise the Symptoms of Myopia

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Have you ever found yourself squinting into the distance to see something more clearly? Perhaps you can’t read road signs as easily as you used to, but you can still see close-up objects. This could indicate that you have myopia (short-sightedness).

The symptoms of myopia.

Struggling to see things clearly in the distance whether at home, work, school or driving could be a sign of short-sightedness. The symptoms of myopia are also usually quite easy to recognise in others. Maybe you've noticed a family member complaining of their sight, experiencing headaches or squinting when looking in the distance?

Myopia often begins in childhood and younger children may not be able to articulate their experience to their parents or teacher so knowing the signs and symptoms is a great way to support your family and friends.

If you, or someone you know, appears to be struggling with seeing distant objects clearly, it is important to attend a routine eye test with an optician. The good thing is that treating myopia symptoms can be very straightforward.

What is myopia?

To begin with, let’s understand myopia a little bit more. Also known as short-sightedness, myopia is a common eye condition that occurs when you have a misshapen eyeball, cornea or lens of the eye. It's very common and is thought to affect around 1 in 4 people in Europe. It usually begins to develop in school-age children and teenagers, but can sometimes continue to develop during early adulthood. It is usually characterised by having good vision at near distances, such as reading or using your computer, but blurred vision for further afield, watching TV or looking at the whiteboard. 

If you think you might have myopia, there a number of things you can do to test yourself. For example, if you often find it difficult to recognise someone from a distance, or you are unable to read road signs could all be signs of developing myopia. You might also struggle to perceive distance or have a general unawareness of distant objects.

Other common symptoms of myopia can include headaches, eye strain, excessive blinking or frequently rubbing your eyes.

You can also look for these signs in other people, such as your children or friends, and encourage them to see an optician. Some of the first signs of myopia in children are when they experience difficulty seeing the board clearly in the classroom, which is something teachers can look out for.

What causes myopia symptoms?

If you have myopia, it usually means your eyes are slightly too long in shape. This is nothing to worry about and is unnoticeable to others; it just means that light is forced to focus just in front of your retina, rather than on it, which can result in blurry vision from a distance. 

Short-sightedness does not usually pose a risk to your eye health, and simply means that you may have to wear glasses for myopia to correct the symptoms. When you begin to notice a change in your vision, book an appointment with your optician and they can easily identify any corrective needs with your eyes. By attending regular appointments, every two years, your optician will be able to spot any early signs and will be able to monitor developments.

Wearing glasses for myopia.

Glasses for short-sightedness is a very common and easy way to manage the symptoms of myopia. It is important that you wear the right prescription glasses for your needs.

Glasses for myopia are created with concave lenses, with means the lenses are thinner in the centre and thicker at the sides. When the prescription is higher, the lens will be thicker. If you have a high prescription, you may want to consider finding high index lenses, thin and lighter lenses. This type of lens is often recommended for strong prescriptions and will ensure your glasses look slimmer and more attractive regardless of how high the prescription is.

If you have myopia, your near vision shouldn't be affected, this could mean you may notice scratches and smudges on your lenses compared to other wearers. It could be beneficial to find a good quality anti-reflective coating for your lenses, as this will prevent your vision from being disrupted from things like smudges, scratches, water and dust.

At Essilor, we have a number of solutions to correct myopia and ensure you get the most out of your vision.

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