Myopia, commonly called short-sightedness, is a condition in which light is focussed in front of the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Short-sighted people can often see reasonably clearly at short distances, but will not be able to see distant objects clearly. They find it hard to read road signs and scoreboards and to play ball games. Recognising people in the distance may be a problem. Sometimes a person may not realise that their distance vision is not 100% but an eye examination by an optometrist will reveal the problem. The exact causes of myopia are not known. At various times people have blamed excessive amounts of reading, poor metabolism, poor diet, poor light, poor posture and genetic factors.
Recent research has shown that the development of myopia is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. There is no certain prevention for myopia; however recent research has found that some special hard contact lenses worn overnight may slow progression. Despite ongoing research, a cure for myopia has not yet been found. Properly prescribed spectacles or contact lenses will enable a person with myopia to see clearly. Laser surgery to reshape the front surface of the eye can also help some people with myopia. Your optometrist can advise you about the latest developments and whether they would be suitable for you.
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