It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more Patient Portal Career Center (602) 242-4928

The Impact of High Myopia on Retinal Health and Vision

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a prevalent refractive error affecting millions worldwide. While prescription glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery effectively address mild to moderate myopia, high myopia introduces distinctive challenges surpassing mere visual impairment. 

In a normal eye, light entering the eye properly focuses on the retina, providing clear vision. In a high myopic eye, the eye becomes elongated, causing light to focus too far in front of the retina, producing blurred vision. Individuals with high myopia typically have a refractive error of -6.00 diopters or higher and may experience progressive worsening of their vision over time. Retinal detachments, glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration are the result of the impact of high myopia on retinal health and vision.

One of the most significant concerns associated with high myopia is its detrimental effects on retinal health. High myopia, also known as pathological or degenerative myopia, has been connected to vessel growth beneath the retina, macular holes and separation of the layers of the macula, all of which leads to blurring vision and even blindness. Patients with high myopia are 50% more likely to develop glaucoma, which causes pressure levels to rise within the eye, than those with low myopia. 

Retinal health is just one implication of high myopia. Visual acuity and quality of vision are also genuine concerns. Individuals may experience blurred vision at all distances, even with corrective lenses, reduced depth perception and peripheral vision, eye strain, discomfort, squinting, frequent headaches, sensitivity to light and glare, halos around lights particularly at night or in low-light conditions and struggles with night vision. 

There are several solutions available to manage the impact of high myopia on retinal health and vision. Corrective eyewear is the primary solution, compensating for refractive errors. High-index lenses are thinner and lighter than traditional lenses, making them an ideal choice to reduce the thickness and weight of glasses, improving comfort and aesthetics. Refractive surgery such as LASIK or PRK can reshape the cornea but are dependent upon a patient’s qualifications for the procedure. A non-surgical approach called Orthokeratology involves wearing specially designed rigid contact lenses overnight to reshape the cornea temporarily. Phakic IOLs are implantable lenses placed inside the eye without removing or replacing the natural lens, making them suitable for individuals who are not good candidates for LASIK or other corneal refractive surgeries. Your eye doctor may strategize with a treatment plan called myopia control that aims to slow the progression of myopia through specialized contact lenses and pharmaceutical remedies such as atropine eye drops. By using a very diluted solution of this prescription, it is possible to reduce myopia by 50-80%. This treatment option is often the first choice for pediatric ophthalmologists. Research indicates that by the year 2050, there will be a seven-fold increase in myopia, especially in children. High myopia progresses rapidly in the formative years predisposing children to retinal risk in adulthood. 
Since the retina is located at the back of the eye, it takes detailed imaging to unveil its health and function. That can only be achieved with a comprehensive eye exam. Don’t delay early intervention should it be necessary. Safeguard your vision by calling Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or booking online at WEBSITE.