Table of contents:

Video: Myopia
Video: What is Myopia (Short sightedness)? 2023, February

Nearsightedness (myopia)

Those who are nearsighted can see close objects clearly, but distant objects out of focus. The reason for this out of focus in the distance is usually the length of the eyeball.

Roughly speaking, the eye is usually "too long" with myopia. More precisely, the distance between the cornea and lens to the retina is greater in myopia than in the normal-sighted eye. The ophthalmologist can clarify the nearsightedness through various examinations. Often myopia is corrected with glasses or contact lenses.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Myopia - what is it?
  • Diagnosing myopia
  • Correction of myopia
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

Myopia - what is it?

In the normal-sighted eye, the retinal plane lies 23–24 mm behind the cornea. In myopia, the axial length of the eye is often longer in relation to the refractive power. Therefore, when looking into the distance, light rays do not hit the retina in a refracted and bundled manner, as is the case with normal vision, but in front of the retina.

The greater the deviation in length, the greater the myopia. With every millimeter, myopia increases by about three dioptres (–3 dpt). In rare cases, myopia can also have other reasons, e.g. too strong refractive power, for example due to the curvature of the cornea or a forward lens shift. An incipient cataract can also be present.

One distinguishes between:

  • Simple myopia (school myopia). The predisposition to this form of myopia is innate. It occurs during growth, around the age of ten to twelve, and in most cases no longer increases after the age of 25. In many cases this myopia does not go beyond –6 dpt.
  • Myopia magna (high myopia, progressive myopia). This is a progressive disease. In this context, severe visual impairments and retinal detachments with severe eye damage (posterior vitreous detachment) can occur.

Note You can view a simulation of myopia on the MedUni Vienna website.

Diagnosing myopia

For the diagnosis, the ophthalmologist (also: ophthalmologist, specialist in ophthalmology) conducts a detailed discussion (anamnesis), in which, among other things, reasons for the visit or possible problems are discussed.

Myopic people have difficulty seeing in the distance. Squinting your eyes can improve the sharpness. In children, short-sightedness can manifest itself when they sit closer to the television or cannot see what is written on the blackboard at school or can hardly see them - especially from the back rows of seats. Myopia is also noticeable in road traffic (e.g. when driving a car), for example through deterioration of vision in the dark, difficult recognition of street signs, etc.

  • With the help of various measuring instruments, the ophthalmologist examines various structures of the eye (e.g. retina, vitreous humor, cornea, etc.) and clarifies possible changes, ametropia and diseases.
  • In addition to examining the vitreous humor and the anterior segment of the eye (using a slit lamp) and the fundus (using an ophthalmoscope, so-called ophthalmoscopy), he / she will also examine the pupil reaction and eye movement.
  • A precise test of the visual acuity with refraction determination (measurement of the refractive power of the eye using a refractometer) is carried out. The eyesight is tested with and without glasses (with an eye test chart or visual acuity projector).
  • If necessary, the intraocular pressure is measured (tonometry) and further examinations are carried out.

The doctor can identify refractive errors or organic causes that impair vision and rule out other diseases (e.g. cataracts). The strength of myopia is given with a preceding minus (eg: –2.5 D).

You can find information about preventive examinations etc. on the website of the Austrian Ophthalmological Society.

Correction of myopia

Often myopia is corrected with glasses (concave glasses, minus glasses, divergent lenses) or contact lenses (therapy of choice). For more information on glasses, types of contact lenses, care and check-ups, please contact your ophthalmologist.

Surgical interventions such as incising the cornea or grinding the cornea using laser treatments to weaken the refractive power, as well as corrective artificial lenses are also possible. The doctor (together with the person concerned) decides whether it is necessary and how it should be carried out. She / he provides information about the advantages and risks.

You can also find brief information on laser treatment, among other things, in the brochure Operations for the Elimination of Refractive Defects by the German Ophthalmological Society.

Whom can I ask?

The ophthalmologist (also: ophthalmologist, specialist in ophthalmology) diagnoses myopia and orders corrective or further therapeutic measures.

In the case of children, the pediatrician (specialist in paediatrics and adolescent medicine) can be consulted or pointed out any abnormalities. The family doctor can make referrals if necessary. Regular check-ups are advisable in the course of myopia.

Orthoptists can be involved in diagnosis and treatment. Opticians manufacture and adjust visual aids, provide information on how to use visual aids, can check visual acuity, etc. However, only ophthalmologists perform eye examinations.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance.

Information on, among other things, the deductible, the exemption from the cost share for glasses and any cost subsidies for contact lenses can be obtained from your health insurance provider, which you can find on the social security website.

With regard to the assumption of costs for refractive laser operations, the chief medical service of the responsible health insurance company always decides whether a health insurance benefit can be used. You can find more information under laser treatment for myopia.

Further information can also be found at:

  • Right to treatment
  • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
  • What does the hospital stay cost?
  • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
  • Rehabilitation & cure
  • Medical aids & aids
  • Health Professions AZ

as well as the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs.

Popular by topic