Nearsightedness, or myopia, as it is medically termed, is a vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. Eyeglasses are the primary choice of correction for persons with nearsightedness. Generally, a single vision lens is prescribed to provide clear vision at all distances.However, for patients over about age 40, or children and adults whose nearsightedness is due to the stress of near vision work, a bifocal or progressive addition lens may be needed. It is a very common condition.
About 15 per cent of the Australian population is shortsighted. Usually myopia begins to develop in teenage years and it may get worse over the following few years. The cross-sectional prevalence of myopia in Australian schoolchildren was reported to be 42.7% and 59.1% in 12-year-old and 17-year-old school-aged children of East Asian ethnicity, respectively, whereas the corresponding prevalence rates in European Caucasian children of the same age were 8.3% and 17.7%, respectively.