Short Sight
AKA 'Myopia'

What is Short Sight?

If the world beyond your near vision seems foggy or blurred then it is likely you are suffering from short sight or ‘myopia’.

Short-sightedness is a common eye condition (with up to 1/3 of people affected in the UK) where distant objects appear blurred and close objects are clearly visible. Often short sight is referred to by its medical term ‘myopia’. In everyday life this may mean that if you are short-sighted you will be able to read books clearly but will have problems watching television, driving or being able to visit the cinema and see the screen clearly. In the United States this condition is referred to as near-sightedness.

Short sight symptoms

In some instances an individual’s short-sightedness is very mild. They may choose to wear glasses only occasionally if they are visiting the cinema for example or wear contact lenses as and when needed. Therefore the minor inconvenience of having to put in contacts or find a pair glasses when the occasion presents itself is something that some people choose to put up with.


Example of short sight

An example of short sight – near objects are in focus whilst distance vision is blurred.

However for others the desire to see clearly at all times means they often wish to consider laser eye surgery or refractive lens exchange. Refractive eye surgery for short sight is a simple procedure that can often be life changing. For those who have persisted with blurred vision, refractive surgery can instantly provide a ‘new world’ of clear vision and comfort.

Causes of short sight

Short sight is caused when light rays are brought to a focus in front of the retina – usually because the eyeball is too long, the cornea (the ‘window’ at the front of the eye) too steep, or a combination of the two. When not wearing glasses or contact lenses, those with short sight will have blurred distance vision. The shorter their sight, the more blurred is their view of the world. There has been much debate over what exactly contributes to short sight.

Even relatively modest short sight – for example, a prescription of only -3D (dioptres) – will cause considerable blurring of distant objects and difficulty in recognising even the largest letter on the eye test chart.

The point of focus for someone with -3D of short sight is 33cm (12”) in front of the eye. Someone of -10D would have a focal point only 10cm away. Without glasses, this person could read small print clearly at 10cm; however, their distance vision would be extremely blurred.

Laser eye surgery or lens replacement can be life changing – you might want to check out David Gartry’s most recent reviews at Lasik Eyes.

There are many causes of myopia although these are often debated – symptoms are very similar. In general someone who is myopic will always have blurred distance vision but good near vision. It is worth mentioning however that if someone has a high level of myopia, even near vision may be affected and in order to see clearly, objects may have to be moved very close to the eye.