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of the population, a figure that is rising
Can be corrected using two
techniques, laser and intraocular lenses
Myopia of more than
dioptres implies a risk of glaucoma and detached retina

What is myopia?

Also known as nearsightedness, it is a refractive defect or error in visual focusing, which has the following characteristics:

  • Images are focused in front of the retina and not on it, making long distance vision difficult.
  • It usually appears in childhood and develops approximately until the age of 20, when it tends to stabilise
  • If the refractive error is greater than eight dioptres, it is referred to as high myopia, which can involve serious specific visual risks and complications.
Normal eye

Normal eye

Myopic eye

Myopic eye


What causes it?

  • It occurs when the eyeball is elongated or the cornea is more curved than usual.
  • People with a family history of myopia are more likely to suffer from it.

How can it be prevented?

It is not possible to prevent nearsightedness. Regular eye tests however, especially for children, help to detect it in its early stages.



A nearsighted person sees objects clearly if they are close up, but blurred if they are at a distance.

It usually appears in school-age children, so it is important to be attentive to possible symptoms.

Myopia school age

Myopia often appears in childhood

The most common symptoms are:

  • Difficulty in seeing what the teacher writes on the blackboard
  • Holding books very close to the eyes to read
  • Sitting close to the television
  • Squinting to make distant objects appear sharper

As this refractive error develops while children are growing, it is necessary to change glasses or contact lenses frequently.


It can be corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses. People who prefer not to wear glasses or contact lenses can opt for refractive surgery.

Very rarely is surgery advisable before the age of 20, when it stabilises.

Laser surgery myopia

Lasik surgery is indicated for some myopic patients

Treatment mainly consists of applying a laser to the surface or internal layers of the cornea (Lasik). Other less common techniques include the implantation of rings.

In cases of high myopia or when Lasik is contraindicated, none of these corneal procedures is recommended. The best option is the implantation of phakic intraocular lenses (between the cornea and the crystalline lens).

About 80% of the success of surgery depends on proper diagnosis and selection of the most suitable technique.

Surgical treatments

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