What is myopia?
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a refractive defect or error in visual focusing. Images are focused in front of the retina and not on it, making long distance vision difficult.
Myopia 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.
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 myopia. Regular eye tests however, especially for children, help to detect it in its early stages.
A myopic or 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.
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 myopia develops while children are growing, it is necessary to change glasses or contact lenses frequently.
Myopia 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 the myopia stabilises. 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).
Bear in mind that about 80% of the success of surgery depends on proper diagnosis and selection of the most suitable technique.
- Are there any safety considerations when performing an angiography?
- Can a post-operative Lasik patient play sport?
- How long does it take for a post-operative Lasik patient to see correctly?
- Is it counterproductive for the patient to have an angiography when undergoing eye treatment?
- What is angiography?
- What is the difference between indocyanine green and fluorescein angiography?
- What should a post-operative Lasik patient not do?
- What types of surgery are available to correct a refractive error?
- Why is angiography useful?