PURPOSE: To compare the vision-related quality of life among emmetropes, myopes who had refractive surgery, and myopes who wore spectacles and/or contact lenses. METHODS: This cross-sectional study assessed vision-related quality of life using the Vision Quality of Life Index. Participants were age 18 years or older with a presenting visual acuity of 20/40 or better and no other ocular pathology. Responses were compared among three groups: emmetropes (spherical equivalent [SE] < 0.50 to > -0.50 diopters [D]), myopes (SE < or = -0.50 D) who wore spectacles and/or contact lenses, and myopes who had refractive surgery. RESULTS: The study population included 64 emmetropes, 66 myopes who wore spectacles and/or contact lenses, and 65 myopes who had refractive surgery. No significant differences were found between the refractive surgery and emmetropic groups. In contrast, the spectacle and/or contact lens group had significantly increased odds of having concerns about injuring themselves (odds ratio = 11.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.3, 57.1), difficulties coping with demands in life (odds ratio = 23.6, 95% CI 23.8, 198.1), difficulties fulfilling roles (odds ratio = 5.6, 95% CI 1.4, 22.1), and less confidence joining in everyday activities (odds ratio = 30.6, 95% CI 3.2, 292.3) compared to emmetropes. CONCLUSIONS: Myopia corrected with spectacles or contact lenses had a negative impact on some areas of vision-related quality of life. However, individuals with myopia who had refractive surgery enjoyed the same vision-related quality of life as those with emmetropia. The potential improvement in vision-related quality of life should be considered when recommending treatment for myopia.