Low vs moderate vs high myopia: Do you know the difference?
Most people are aware that myopia, more commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness, is an eye disease where objects nearby appear clear but those far away appear blurry and unfocused. Do you know that having high myopia may make you more susceptible to sight-threatening eye diseases? There are 3 different types of Myopia. Based on the severity of the disease, people with myopia fall into either one of the following categories:
Low myopia: 50° to 299° (-0.50D to -2.99D)
Moderate myopia: 300° to 599° (-3.00D to -5.99D)
High myopia: 600° or greater (-6.00D or greater)
The link between high myopia and glaucoma
Unfortunately, having extremely poor eyesight is not the only consequence of high myopia. In fact, the higher the degree of myopia, the greater the risk of developing other eye complications. These can ultimately result in extreme vision loss or even blindness.
Multiple studies have found that patients with high myopia have more than three times higher susceptibility to developing glaucoma than low or moderate myopia patients.
This is because people with high myopia suffer from an extreme lengthening or elongation of their eyes. This weakens the tissue supporting eye nerves and leads to an increase in eye pressure. This is due to the stretching of the eyeball. Since glaucoma, a debilitating eye condition, is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in the eyes, high myopia and glaucoma have been highly associated with each other. Furthermore, high myopia is not only linked to an increased risk of glaucoma – some other eye conditions that can result as a consequence of suffering from high myopia include retinal detachment, macular degeneration, or cataracts.
How to avoid the silent thief of sight stealing your vision
Glaucoma is known as the ‘silent thief of sight’ because the damage to vision occurs so slowly that we do not notice the gradual vision loss until it is too late. At the point of realization, it will be too late because vision loss due to glaucoma is irreversible.
The only way to combat glaucoma is by going for regular eye exams that include recording eye pressure measurements. Eye pressure measurements help to detect abnormally high eye pressure that may point to glaucoma. An early diagnosis can help to slow down or prevent vision loss.
For those of you in Singapore, you can make an appointment with an optometrist today using planoEyecheck, an easy, safe, and convenient online platform that connects you to your nearest optometrist.