What is another name for short sightedness?

Other names for short-sightedness are: myopia and nearsightedness.


In many parts of the world, the words "myopia" and "short-sightedness" are used interchangeably.

If you're into etymology (the study of the origin of words), the term "myopia" comes from Greek word roots that mean "to close the eyes." This is a reference to the primary sign that a person is myopic — squinting.


"Nearsightedness" is another synonym for short-sightedness. This is a term that's used in the United States and in other countries as well. Near-sightedness means exactly the same thing as short-sightedness and myopia.

Regardless whether you use the term short-sightedness, myopia or near-sightedness, the condition these words describe is characterised by distant objects appearing blurry until they are brought close to the eyes.

People who are short-sighted may have difficulty recognising faces across a room or reading road signs while driving. Children who are becoming short-sighted will find it more difficult to see writing on a blackboard or whiteboard in their classroom unless they are sitting near the front of the room.

Besides blurry distance vision and squinting, other common symptoms of myopia include headaches (which may be related to muscle tension from squinting) and tired eyes.

When looking at the eye chart across the room during an eye test, people with short-sightedness will have reduced visual acuity.

In other words, instead of being able to see the small letters on the 6/6 (20/20 in the US), line near the bottom of the chart, their visual acuity might be recorded as 6/12 (20/40) , 6/15 (20/50) , 6/24 (20/80) or some other fraction because they can only make out larger letters on the chart (the larger the bottom number of the fraction, the worse the distance visual acuity is).

Thankfully, blurry vision from short-sightedness usually can be fully corrected with glassescontact lenses or refractive surgery like LASIK.

Short-sightedness typically begins in childhood and many myopic children think their blurry vision is normal. Even if your children aren't complaining of vision problems, schedule a comprehensive eye examination for them at the beginning of the school year with an optometrist near you.

Find Eye Doctor

Find an optometrist near you

Find Eye Doctor