What is Short-Sightedness or Myopia?

Short-sightedness, or myopia, is a very common vision problem that can usually be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. If you’re short-sighted (myopic), your vision is clear when you look at things up close, but objects that are further away are out of focus or blurred

What causes short-sightedness?

Short-sightedness is usually caused when your eye is too long from front to back, or your cornea is too powerful for the length of the eye. Light focuses in front of the retina, making distant objects appear blurred.

You can develop short-sightedness at any age, but it usually starts around childhood or in the early teens. You're more likely to develop it if one or both or your parents are also short-sighted.

Spending a lot of time focusing your eyes on nearby objects, such as reading, writing and hand-held devices (phones and tablets) as well as computers can also increase your risk of developing short-sightedness. Spending time playing outside as a child may help reduce the onset of becoming short-sighted; the latest evidence* indicates that higher levels of natural light are beneficial.

* Walline J, Myopia control – a review. ECL 2016; 42 (1):3-8

What are the symptoms of short-sightedness?

Short-sightedness causes objects further away to appear out of focus or blurred, which can affect your vision when you are driving, playing sports or trying to recognise people and objects at a distance. This can lead to eyestrain, headaches and fatigue.

Diagnosing short-sightedness

If you suspect you are short-sighted, use our search tool to find an optician near you to schedule an eye examination. The examination will determine if you are short-sighted and how much, and determine the prescription that you need for glasses or contact lenses to correct this.


Most people who are short-sighted can correct their vision with glasses or contact lenses. These contact lenses are shaped to focus the light correctly on your retina, helping you to see people and objects clearly in the distance without glasses.

For ACUVUE® contact lenses for short-sightedness talk to your optician or click the button below to find out more.


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