What is high myopia?

Alastair Lockwood Alastair Lockwood
Wednesday, 20 February 2019 Share this blog: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Copy link Copy Link

Myopia (or near-sightedness) is the most common cause of visual impairment and affects an individual’s ability to see objects that are further away. Some people have a more severe version of myopia, this is called high myopia.

Before we look into what high myopia is, we should understand what myopia is in general. Myopia occurs when the eyeball is elongated, affecting the focusing power of the cornea and the lens of the eye. This results in light rays being focussed at a point of the eye in front of the retina, instead of directly on the retina's surface. Myopia usually begins in childhood, then stabilises in adulthood. The severity of the condition varies from person to person.

High myopia generally is used to describe short-sightedness that has a dioptre (D) of -5.00 or higher and as such is a more severe case of near-sightedness. This produces an uncorrected visual acuity of 20/400 or higher.

best contact lenses for high myopia

What causes high myopia?

High myopia can start as early as childhood and individuals are generally at a higher risk if their parents are short-sighted. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that increased near work, such as screen use via tablets and smartphones and modern office working hours, may be leading to an increase of the general population suffering from myopia.

High myopia doesn’t necessarily lead to more severe vision loss, however individuals who do have the condition have a greater risk of developing further eye-related conditions like; retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataracts. It is important that people with high myopia have eye tests regularly by their eye practitioner monitor the condition of their eyes.

Which contact lenses are best for high myopia?

High myopia can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Contact lenses with a dioptre of -5.00 or more are generally prescribed to correct high myopia. We have a wide variety of contact lenses that go as high as -12.00 for standard lenses and -20.00 for contact lenses such as Biofinity XR and for those who have astigmatism,Proclear Toric XR.

You can view our entire contact lens specification sheet here and check which contact lenses can be worn if you have a high myopia.

high myopia

How is high myopia treated?

Prescription glasses and contact lenses are the most convenient way to treat high myopia, however, there are alternative options.

Orthokeratology involves wearing a specially fitted, gas permeable lens overnight during sleep. The lenses reshape the cornea of the eye producing clearer vision throughout the day, without the need for corrective lenses. The lens must be measured and fitted by a qualified optician and is generally more expensive than a normal prescription contact lens. There may be rebound changes in refraction and there are concerns over risk of corneal infection.

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