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HealthInfo Canterbury

Treating myopia

All treatments for myopia adjust your focus precisely onto your retina (rather than in front of it). Corrective lenses (glasses and contact lenses) change the way light focuses into your eye, while refractive surgery reshapes the surface of your eye so light focuses onto the retina.

Wearing glasses or contact lenses will not make your eyes weaker, although people often feel they need them more as they become used to seeing things more clearly and feeling more comfortable. It is very important for some young children to wear glasses, as it helps their vision to develop normally.


Prescription glasses shift the point of focus so that it falls exactly on the back of your eye, giving you clear vision. You may need more correction in one eye than the other. Your optometrist can discuss this with you as they evaluate which treatment is best suited to your myopia.

Contact lenses

There are many different types of contact lenses available, in both hard (rigid, gas permeable) and soft (usually disposable) materials. They include options for extended-wear and multifocal prescriptions. Ask your optometrist which ones will be best for you.


Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, treats your myopia with rigid contact lenses you wear overnight to reshape the curve of your eye. Once you have achieved acceptable vision you may be able to wear the lenses slightly less often, but if you stop wearing them altogether your eyes will go back to their original shape and your myopia will return. Your optometrist will be able to tell you if this treatment is suitable for you.

Refractive surgery

Refractive surgery can permanently reshape the surface of your eye using methods such as LASIK, PRK, and LASEK. Ask your optometrist for more information. They can assess your suitability for surgery and refer you to a specialist eye surgeon if appropriate.

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Written by Canterbury optometrists. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Ophthalmology, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed November 2019.


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Review key: HIVIP-134077