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Short-sightedness (myopia)

Causes, symptoms, and treatments for short-sightedness and how to improve your vision

Man receiving an eye exam to diagnose his short-sightedness, also known as myopia
Short-sightedness, also known as myopia, is a common eye condition where you have difficulty seeing distant objects clearly, yet can see nearby objects with ease. In other words, if you have short-sightedness, you can see things clearly up close, but objects at a distance will appear blurry.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as difficulty seeing objects at a distance, frequent squinting, or the need to constantly move objects closer to your face in order to see them clearly, you may be experiencing short-sightedness.

While glasses or contact lenses can correct the blurred vision caused by myopia, many people are now choosing to undergo private short-sightedness treatment to correct the underlying issue and eliminate their dependency on corrective lenses. One of the most popular forms of private short-sightedness treatment is laser eye surgery.

At Circle Health Group, we offer a range of private treatments for short-sightedness, including laser eye surgery as well as other cutting-edge techniques. Our team of specialist consultants will advise you on the best treatment for your individual needs.

If you're tired of depending on glasses or contacts to see the world clearly, book a consultation with us today and find out more about the private short-sightedness treatments available to you. Our specialists will guide you through the process and help you regain clear vision.

Call or book online today and you could have your initial consultation within 48 hours.

It's important to understand the difference between short-sightedness and long-sightedness, as they both require different types of treatment. While short-sightedness affects your ability to see distant objects, long-sightedness, or hyperopia, affects your ability to see objects up close.

Unfortunately, short-sightedness does not typically improve with age and often worsens as you get older. But early detection and treatment can help slow down its progression and improve your vision.

So, what does short-sightedness look like? Common symptoms of short-sightedness include:

  • Blurred vision when looking at distant objects, such as traffic signs, televisions, or movie screens
  • Difficulty seeing objects in the distance, such as road signs or the faces of people across the room
  • Squinting or straining your eyes to see objects in the distance
  • Headaches from eye strain caused by trying to see objects in the distance
  • Fatigue in your eyes from constantly having to focus up close

We don't fully understand the causes of myopia, however we do know that certain factors can play a part in the likelihood that you will develop the condition.


Heredity is one of the most significant causes of short-sightedness. If someone in your family has a history of myopia, you have a higher risk of developing the condition yourself. Research has shown that the genetic predisposition to myopia is passed down from parents to children.

Prolonged near work

Prolonged near work, such as reading, writing, or working on a computer, has been linked to the development of short-sightedness. It is thought that this is because focusing on near objects for an extended period puts a strain on the eyes and can cause them to elongate.

Environmental factors

Research has suggested that environmental factors can also play a role in the development of short-sightedness. For example, some studies have shown that spending more time outdoors and exposing your eyes to natural light may help to reduce the risk of developing myopia.

While surgical treatments are available, many patients prefer to opt for non-surgical options that can help correct their vision.

Glasses for short-sightedness

Glasses are the most common form of non-surgical treatment for short-sightedness. They work by bending the light that enters your eyes, helping to correct the focus of objects in the distance. Glasses can also come with special lenses that are designed specifically for short-sightedness.

Contact lenses for short-sightedness

Contact lenses are another popular option for those with short-sightedness. They work in a similar way to glasses but can offer a more natural, unobtrusive solution. There are several different types of contact lenses available, including daily disposables, monthly disposables, and extended-wear lenses.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, is a non-surgical treatment that involves wearing specially designed contact lenses overnight. The lenses help to reshape the cornea, improving vision during the day. This treatment is particularly suitable for people who lead active lifestyles, as it does not require the use of glasses or contact lenses during the day.

For those who prefer a more permanent solution, surgical treatments for short-sightedness are available. These treatments aim to correct the shape of the cornea, helping to improve focus and correct vision.

Laser Eye Surgery for short-sightedness

Laser eye surgery is one of the most popular surgical treatments for short-sightedness. The procedure uses laser technology to reshape the cornea, improving the way that light enters the eye and reducing the need for glasses or contact lenses. There are several different types of laser eye surgery available, including LASIK and PRK, and your doctor will be able to recommend the best option for you.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Refractive Lens Exchange, or RLE, is another surgical option for those with short-sightedness. This procedure involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens. The new lens helps to correct vision and reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses. We often recommend RLE for people over the age of 40 who have both short-sightedness and presbyopia.

Phakic Intraocular Lenses (PIOLs)

Phakic Intraocular Lenses, or PIOLs, are a type of intraocular lens that can be implanted into the eye to correct short-sightedness. The lenses work by changing how light enters the eye, helping to improve focus and vision. PIOLs are a good option for those who have severe short-sightedness and are not suitable for laser eye surgery.

Your first consultation is critical to the success of your treatment. Not only does it allow our consultant to make an accurate diagnosis, but it also allows you to ask any questions you may have about your condition and the different treatment options available to you.

One of the most important aspects of your initial consultation will be the diagnosis of your short-sightedness. Our consultants will use a variety of tests and scans to assess the severity of your condition and determine the best course of treatment.

Some patients may not require any further tests or scans beyond a comprehensive eye examination. However, if our consultant feels that further information is needed to make an accurate diagnosis, they may recommend additional tests, such as retinal scans or corneal measurements.

Based on the results of your tests and scans, our consultant will recommend a course of treatment that is tailored to your specific needs. This could include non-surgical options such as glasses or contact lenses, or surgical procedures such as laser eye surgery.

We answer the most frequently asked questions about short-sightedness.

What does short-sightedness look like?

Short-sightedness, also known as myopia, can cause distant objects to appear blurry or out of focus. You may find it difficult to see things clearly in the distance, such as road signs, television screens, or people's faces from a distance.

Does short-sightedness improve with age?

Short-sightedness, also known as myopia, is a common vision problem that typically begins in childhood and can progress into adulthood. Unfortunately, it does not improve with age and instead may worsen over time. However, early detection and treatment can help slow down its progression and maintain good vision.

How to cure short-sightedness permanently?

While there is no permanent cure for short-sightedness, there are various treatments available to help manage the condition and maintain good vision. These include corrective lenses, such as glasses and contact lenses, and surgical options such as laser eye surgery.

What is short-sightedness and long-sightedness?

Short-sightedness, also known as myopia, is a common vision problem that causes distant objects to appear blurry.

Long-sightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a vision problem that causes close-up objects to appear blurry.

How to improve short-sightedness?

There are various treatments available to manage short-sightedness and maintain good vision, including corrective lenses, such as glasses and contact lenses, and surgical options such as laser eye surgery.

What is short-sightedness called?

Short-sightedness is also known as myopia and is also sometimes referred to as near-sightedness.

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to suit your routine
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant fits your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your specific requirements
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Private ensuite rooms as standard and delicious healthy meals
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to learn more about treatment for short-sightedness, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in February 2023. Next review due February 2026.

  1. Short-sightedness (myopia), NHS
  2. Short-sightedness (myopia), The College of Optometrists
  3. Short-sightedness, Patient
  4. Nearsightedness, Mayo Clinic

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