Myopia, commonly called shortsightedness, is a condition in which light is focussed in front of the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Shortsighted people can often see reasonably clearly at short distances, but will not be able to see distant objects. Short sighted people may find it hard to read road signs, to recognise people in the distance or to read at a distance in a classroom environment.
There is currently no cure for myopia, however spectacles, contact lenses and refractive surgery can all provide good distance vision for people with myopia. Recent research has shown that the development of myopia is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
It is a very common condition with about 15 per cent of the Australian population shortsighted. Usually myopia begins to develop in teenage years.