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WHY DOES IT MATTER?

All about myopia: Part 2

Myopia (near-sightedness) generally begins and progresses during childhood, especially during those pre-teen years when children are growing quickly.  On average, children will progress about 0.5 diopters per year.  Say, you have a ten year-old daughter who is a -2.00.  She probably has up to six more years of potential growth.  Changing at 0.5 diopters a year would mean she may end up being a -5.00.  Of course, it is impossible to completely predict, but this scenerio is quite possible.  When I have young patients come in who have jumped one or two (or even more) diopters in a years time, I get concerned that this child is on track to being highly myopic (usually high myopia is considered above -6.00).

 

The question is: WHY DOES IT MATTER?  Is there a difference if a child ends up being a -3.00 or a -7.00?  They still have to wear correction, right?  However, studies have suggested an increase risk of glaucoma and cataracts in people highly myopic.  The risk of retinal detachment increases with higher myopes.  Also, higher myopes may not be a good candidate for LASIK, especially if they have thinner corneas.

-Dr. Rachel Merriman