Myopia and High Myopia
Myopia is short-sightedness, which can develop at any age. Short-sighted or near-sighted people can see things close to them clearly, but their distance vision is poor. High myopia a severe form of short-sightedness, which requires special care.
Our New Jersey Eye Center in Bergen County, NJ, is a walk-in facility focusing on “total eye care”. We have lots of experience diagnosing, monitoring and treating myopia and high myopia.
High myopia is also referred to by specialists as “degenerative myopia”. It’s a condition that affects the retina at the back of the eye. The retina contains light-sensitive cells that produce electrical signals picked up by the brain. The macula that sits in the center of the retina can also be affected.
Optometrists measure how well your eye focuses using diopters. This is a measure of how strong a lens you would need to give you focused vision. High myopia generally requires -6.0 diopters or more of lens correction.
High myopia is associated with increased risk of retinal detachment, cataracts and glaucoma. While the condition can lead to blindness if treated early many of its symptoms can be reversed.
Myopia – causes
Myopia occurs when the eye grows into the wrong shape – too long from front to back. This affects the focusing mechanism of the lens of the eye, resulting in blurred vision. People with myopia may get headaches or suffer eyestrain from struggling to decipher things further away.
Myopia can also occur if the eye lens is too thick. Sometimes the eye’s outermost layer (the cornea) is too curved for the length of the eyeball, also causing myopia.
There are some genetic risk factors. If both your parents had myopia, for instance, your risk of developing it will be higher.
Another cause appears to be related to lifestyle. We don’t spend enough time outdoors any more. Instead we spend a lot of time doing near-sighted work, such as computer work or reading. We all know people’s love affair with smartphones, tablets and other hand-held devices!
A comprehensive eye exam by an eye care professional can diagnose myopia. This may include the use of dilating eyedrops for closer examination of the retina and optic nerve.
Many near-sighted patients with high myopia of -5.0 or more present with lattice degeneration – a thinning of the retina.
A diabetic baseline examination involves examining the thickness of the macula. A diabetic can have diabetic macular edema, which requires specific treatment.
Diagnoses can be assisted by indirect ophthalmoscopy. This can detect whether there is a retinal tear, a retinal hole or vitreous hemorrhage.
Checking the retinal circulation by forcing fluorescein dye into the eye is another common diagnostic procedure. Our Eye Center has lots of experience in this and many other techniques.
The most common treatment for myopia is corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses. These refocus light onto the retina. Our eye care professionals can identify the most appropriate lenses in individual cases.
Refractive surgery, using a laser, is another option. The aim of such surgery is to change the shape of the cornea to better focus light on the retina. However, such surgery is never undertaken lightly as there may be side-effects. Hence the importance of professional advice and care.
Other treatments include intraocular injections that can help treat diabetic macular edema. We also treat severe perfusion prolific diabetic retinopathy.
The technology is developing fast. Specialists are even exploring ways to repair retinal damage with stem cells or implantable bioprosthetic chips.
The New Jersey Eye Center in Bergen County, NJ
Our ophthalmologists specialize in retina disorders that can lead to high myopia. This is a common problem among patients. If you are worried about vision loss, or myopia and high myopia, make an appointment today at the New Jersey Eye Center. Phone (201) 374-8900. Email: [email protected].