Short Sightedness

Short sightedness – also known as myopia or near sightedness – makes it difficult to focus on objects in the distance.

Many people confuse short sightedness with long sightedness. Short sightedness does not affect your close-up vision, but it does affect your ability to see objects further away properly.


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If objects in the distance appear blurry, it could be a sign that you suffer from short sightedness. Close-up vision is generally unaffected in people with myopia. However, in very severe cases of short sightedness, close-up vision can also become blurry. Short sightedness may make it difficult to recognise faces at a distance, and driving can become more difficult too. In children, short sightedness can often be recognised when they have difficulty seeing the blackboard in their classroom, or watching television from a distance.

Short sighted people may also suffer from headaches and tired eyes from over-straining them. Frowning and squinting are also common symptoms of short sightedness.


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To understand short sightedness, it first helps to understand how the eye works.

Short sightedness is a refractive error caused by an imperfection in the eye. The imperfection changes the way your eye focuses the light rays that pass into it. This can happen when:

  • The eyeball is longer than normal
  • The cornea is more curved than normal

When any of these imperfections occur, it changes the focusing point of the eye so that light rays focus in front of your retina, instead of on it. This makes objects in the distance look blurry. Close-up objects generally still appear clear, because the light rays enter your eye at a slight angle, so they focus on your retina properly.

Myopia, is believed to be an inherited condition, so you’re more likely to be short sighted if one or both of your parents are short sighted too. There is also some evidence to suggest that short sightedness is more common in people who do a lot of close up work, such as reading and using a computer.


People with short sightedness generally have good vision aside from the refractive error. Refractive errors were traditionally corrected with glasses and contacts. However, for permanent vision correction and freedom from the hassles of glasses and contacts, laser eye surgery is an excellent option.


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The safest and most advanced laser eye surgery available is called LASIK. It is only available in New Zealand through us at the Eye Institute.

Most people with short sightedness are suitable for LASIK, so make an appointment for your free laser assessment today.

Call us on 0800 99 2020

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