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What is another name for short sightedness?

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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 shortsighted — squinting.

SEE RELATED: What is myopia?


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

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

People who are shortsighted may have difficulty recognising faces across a room or reading road signs while driving. Children who are becoming shortsighted will find it more difficult to see writing on a chalkboard 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 exam, people with short sightedness will have reduced visual acuity.

In other words, instead of being able to see the small letters on the 20/20 (known as 6/6 in the UK) line near the bottom of the chart, their visual acuity might be recorded as 20/40 (6/12), 20/50 (6/15), 20/80 (6/24) 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 eyeglassescontact lenses or refractive surgery like LASIK.

Short sightedness typically begins in childhood and many shortsighted 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 each school year with an optician near you.

SEE RELATED: What is myopia control

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