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Myopia (short-sightedness): Lenses for myopia correction

Shortsightedness — the condition where a person can see near objects clearly but distant objects are blurry — typically is easily corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Lenses used to correct short-sightedness are concave in shape. In other words, they are flatter on the front and more curved on the back making them thinnest at the centre and thicker at the edge.

These lenses are called "minus power lenses" (or "minus lenses") because they reduce the focusing power of the eye. By doing so, minus lenses move the focus of light in a shortsighted eye from a point in front of the retina, backwards until it falls directly onto the surface of the retina. This shift corrects the blurry distance vision caused by myopia (shortsightedness), restoring clear vision.

The power of lenses that correct shortsightedness is measured in units called dioptres (D). The lens powers on a glasses prescription for myopia always begin with a minus sign. The higher the power number of the lens, the more myopia it corrects.

For example, a -6.00 D lens corrects twice the amount of shortsightedness as a -3.00 D lens.

High-index lenses typically are recommended for correcting shortsightedness. These lenses are thinner and lighter than regular plastic lenses, making them more attractive and comfortable.

Also, anti-reflection coating is highly recommended for lenses that correct shortsightedness. AR coating eliminates distracting reflections in the lenses, making them more transparent and more attractive. Eliminating reflections also improves vision and comfort.

Ortho-k contact lenses are another choice for the correction of shortsightedness. These are specially designed rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses that not only correct existing myopia — they may actually help control myopia progression in children.

Finally, people with moderate to severe myopia may benefit from implantable lenses. Known as phakic IOLs, these tiny lenses work like contact lenses but are implanted surgically within the eye, directly behind the pupil. No maintenance is required, and phakic IOLs offer permanent correction of shortsightedness, similar to LASIK eye surgery.

To determine the best vision correction options for your needs, schedule an eye exam with an optometrist near you.

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