What is it?
Myopia, or short sightedness, is when the eye grows to be too long, causing blurry distance vision. High myopia is the term used for severe short-sightedness. Myopia tends to get worse year after year while we are growing, so children and young adults are the most likely to develop high myopia. In high myopia, the eyeball grows so large that it can be damaged and can lead to vision loss.
What does it do?
High myopia causes the eye and retina to be stretched. This increases the risk of a retinal detachment and other retinal degenerations, which can cause blindness. Glaucoma and cataracts are also more common in high myopia.
What is the treatment?
Once a person becomes myopic there is no way to reverse it, so people with high myopia need regular eye exams to ensure their eyes stay healthy. They also need to be on the lookout for certain symptoms that could mean trouble for their eyes, such as flashing lights and floating spots in their vision.
How can I prevent it?
If we catch myopia early, we are able to slow down or even stop it from getting worse. Myopia control options include special contact lenses or eye drops. These are most effective when used in adolescence so that a child with myopia never develops high myopia. Spending time outdoors and not doing too much near work also help to slow the progression of myopia. Children should have an eye examination before they start school, especially if they have short-sighted parents.