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Degenerative Myopia

What is Degenerative Myopia?

Myopia (nearsightedness) is a vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. It is typically corrected with glasses or contact lenses, and the majority of cases are classified as mild.

High degrees of myopia are called degenerative or pathological and occur in one to nine percent of adults throughout the world. In myopia, the eye is too long and focuses light in front of the retina. Because the eyeball is elongated, tissue, including the retina, is stretched and thinner than normal. In degenerative myopia, this gradually damages the retina, choroid, vitreous, sclera and optic nerve. It is not related to ordinary myopia and does not develop from it.

At this time, the progression of degenerative myopia cannot be stopped. However, some complications such as retinal detachment, macular edema, and glaucoma, can be treated.

If it occurs at the back wall of the eye, the stretching in the retina can result in myopic macular degeneration. This can be treated with laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapy or intravitreal injections. Myopic macular degeneration is typically less severe than age-related macular degeneration.

Stretching of the retina in the equator of the eye can cause lattice degeneration which can also increase the risk of retinal tears and retinal detachment. Both occur more frequently in people with myopia.