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Short sightedness – symptoms, causes and risk factors

Myopia or short sightedness is a very common eye condition which is causing the close objects to be seen clearly but the distant objects to appear blurred. This condition is also known as near sightedness. Many people confuse Short-sightedness with the long – sightedness but this is not the same condition. If you have noticed that the objects in the distance appear blurry, then this may be a sign that you have short – sightedness. It is thought that the short sightedness is affecting one in three people in the UK and the number of people who are having this condition is increasing [1]. This condition can range from mild where in the most cases treatment is not required but also it can be severe condition when the vision of that individual is affected a lot. The short sightedness usually starts in puberty and gradually it is getting worse until your eye is fully grown. Also this condition can develop in very young children. You should visit your local opticians if you have noticed problems in your eyesight. Your doctor will make eye test and he will tell you if you are short – sightedness. People who have this condition can have lot of problems in their life such as making hard to drive their cars [2]. Also people who suffer from Short sightedness can have headaches and tired eyes. Squinting and frowning are also common symptoms of this condition.

Signs of Short sightedness

Here are the signs that your child may be short sightedness:

  • Regularly rubbing their eyes
  • Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
  • Sitting close to the TV
  • Needing to sit near the front of the class at school because they find it difficult to read the whiteboard

Causes of short sightedness

This condition usually occurs when your eyes grow slightly too long which means that they cannot produce a clear image of the objects in distance. It is not known the real reason for this condition but many doctors are thinking that this condition is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors which can disrupt the normal development of your eyes.

How your eye works? The light passes through the cornea and into the lens which is focusing it onto your retina to create an image which is sent to your brain. Your cornea should be evenly curved and your eye needs to have the right length because in this way it will produce a perfectly clear image. People who have short – sightedness usually have eye that is grown slightly too long. This means when someone is looking at distant object, then their light is not focused directly onto your retina but it is on a short distance in front of it. This condition is resulting in a blurry image which is sent to your brain.

Short sightedness

What can increase your risk of getting short sightedness? Here are the factors that can increase your risk of getting short – sightedness:

  • Genes: If one of your both parents has short–sightedness, then you have increased chances of developing this disease. There are some studies in which is shown that more than 40 genes are linked to short sightedness. These genes are responsible for the eye’s development and structure and the signaling between your eyes and brain. [3]
  • Excessive close work: When you spend a lot of time working on nearby objects such as writing, reading, using some hand devices such as tablets and phones and using computers, then you are also increasing your chances of getting short sightedness. Every activity which you do should be done in moderation. It is recommended for children to read but also they should spend some time outdoors because they need natural light. [4]
  • Too little time outdoors: There are some studies in which are shown that if you play outside as child, then this is decreasing your chances of getting short sightedness. Also if you have short sightedness, then this condition will progress less quickly. This is related with the light levels. As we know, the light levels outdoors are much brighter than light levels indoors. Also if you do some outdoor sport or you relax outdoors, then they will reduce your risk of getting short sightedness. [5]


[1] NHS. Overview: Short-sightedness (myopia). Retrieved from

[2] Charman WN. Night myopia and driving. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. 1996;16(6):474-85.

[3] King’s College London. Genetic processes that determine short-sightedness discovered by researchers. Science Daily. 2020. Retrieved from

[4] Enthoven CA, Tideman WL, Polling JR, et al. The impact of computer use on myopia development in childhood: The Generation R study. Preventive Medicine. 2020;132:105988.

[5] Queensland University of Technology. Outdoor light has role in reducing short-sightedness in kids. Science Daily. 2016. Retrieved from

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]


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