What is child myopia?

Myopia, also commonly referred to as ‘nearsightedness’ or ‘shortsightedness’, is a common eye condition which causes blurred distance vision. Myopia is a condition in which light is focused 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 clearly.

The Myopic Eye

Blurred vision due to myopia is the result of light rays focusing at a point in front of the retina, instead of directly on its surface. This is caused by one or both of the following factors:

Source: Myopia in Children

Myopia usually starts in childhood and typically progresses until the child stops growing.


Managing myopia in children is important because:

  • Increasing myopia can lead to serious eye health problems in the future4
  • As the child’s eyes grow and their myopia increases, the dependency on glasses increases
  • This can reduce the ability of children to participate actively in sports and other activities.

Research shows that myopia is occurring earlier in life.  In 1983, the typical onset of myopia was at around 11 years of age.  However, in 2000, the average onset of myopia was just 8 years of age.5

Source: Myopia in Children

4 Holden B; Fricke T; Wilson D; Jong M; Naidoo K; Sankaridurg P; Wong T; Naduvilath T; Resnikoff S. Global prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050. American Academy of Ophthalmology 2016
5 Lin LL, Shih YF, Hsiao CK et al. Prevalence of myopia in Taiwanese school children: 1983 to 2000. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2004; 33:27-33