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Myopia is a visual defect which causes people to see distant images blurred even if they can see them clearly close up. In medical language this is consider a “refraction defect”.

The term “myopia” comes from the Greek word “myo”, which means “to close”, indicating the typical habit of myopics to squint in order to see better from a distance. In the normal eye (emmetropic) the luminous rays coming from distant objects are put exactly into focus on the retina. In the myopic eye, those rays fall in front of the retina and then diverge so that a blurred image forms on the surface of the retina. For this reason, myopics tend generally to squint in the attempt to focus on distant objects.

The greater the visual defect, the shorter the distance at which they see clearly. The defect is measured in diopters; for example, if a person lacks three diopters in the right eye, it means that they can see from seven meters a letter that a non-myopic person distinguishes at ten meters’ distance.

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