What is progressive myopia?
Progressive myopia is a condition where vision deteriorates by more than one diopter per year due to abnormal eyeball growth.
Progressive myopia can occur when the irregular (elongated) shape of the eyeball causes visual impairment.
A normal adult’s anteroposterior axis length is 24 mm, but with progressive myopia, it can reach over 30 mm. Lengthening of the eye by each millimeter leads to an increase in myopia by 3 diopters. Therefore, with progressive myopia, vision can deteriorate to -20-25 diopters.
Progressive myopia should not be confused with the subjective sensation of decreased visual acuity caused by prolonged visual strain and associated accommodation spasm. Progressive myopia can only be detected with a complex eye exam with a dilated pupil.
When does progressive myopia develop?
As a rule, myopia progresses in children during their school years, with the most intense visual strain.
Progressive myopia diagnosis
Eximer Ophthalmology Clinic performs a complex eye exam to find the cause of myopia, examine and evaluate the state of the eye ground structures. However, one has to undergo dynamic observation to decide on whether the myopia is progressing or not, usually within a year. That is why people with myopia should undergo eye exams with obligatory pupil dilation once a year (in children — once in half a year). If myopia does not stop progressing and it is found to pose a threat to the visual system, a decision is made about surgical treatment.
What are the risks of progressive myopia?
Leaving progressive myopia unattended by doctors is extremely dangerous. As a rule, progressive myopia is caused by eyeball lengthening. This condition, in addition to a significant decrease in visual acuity, causes tension and thinning of the retina, which can lead to irreversible changes in its central parts, disorders in the choroid, retinal tears and detachment, and even vision loss.
Treating progressive myopia at Eximer Ophthalmology Clinic
To stop myopia progression and normalize metabolic processes in the vascular and retinal membranes of the eye, Eximer Ophthalmology Clinic employs an effective and reliable surgical method as scleroplasty. The surgery is aimed at reinforcing the sclera (the outer eye membrane) in the pathologically altered parts of the eye.
Sclera reinforcing surgery is advisable only if progressive myopia is caused by a change in eye size.
During scleroplasty, a special plate is inserted into the eyeball, which serves as a kind of “framework” for the sclera, thereby strengthening the walls of the eye, slowing down its growth and myopia development. Sclera reinforcing surgery also increases the number of vessels that feed the posterior pole of the eye, thereby improving the blood supply to the eyeball.
The intervention takes 15-20 minutes and is performed under local droplet anesthesia in a single day. The recommended age for the surgery is 8-6 years old.
Outcome of progressive myopia treatment
Surgical treatment for progressive myopia is aimed at preventing complications related to the increased eyeball size, stabilizing myopia, and improving the nutrition of the eye. After scleroplasty, myopia stabilization or a considerable slowing down of the myopia progression rate is registered in 95% of patients. However, myopia itself does not disappear and requires optical correction. After myopia stabilization, laser vision correction can be performed, which will radically solve the problem of low vision.
Progressive myopia and the retina
With progressive myopia, peripheral degenerations of the retina can occur, and there is a risk of retinal detachment. In such cases, Eximer Ophthalmology Clinic performs retinal reinforcement by laser photocoagulation. This procedure takes 10-15 minutes without hospitalizing the patient, with local droplet anesthesia, and it is painless and safe.
Benefits of progressive myopia treatment at Eximer Ophthalmology Clinic
- Advanced and effective methods. Eximer Ophthalmology Clinic is fully equipped to provide the highest quality ophthalmologic services using the newest and most effective methods of diagnosing and treating eye diseases.
- High standards of treatment. The qualification and vast practical experience of our doctors allow us to perform all types of microsurgical interventions on a top-class level.
- Fast and comfortable treatment. All procedures are performed without hospitalization, ensuring the patient’s comfort.
- Well-tolerated anesthesia. We use local droplet anesthesia, which is well-tolerated by patients of all ages.