Understanding high myopia: causes, symptoms and treatment

Medically reviewed by Tina Patel, Contact Lens Optician at Feel Good Contacts.

What is high myopia?

High myopia is usually defined as a very high degree of short-sightedness with a prescription of -6.00D or more. High myopia can also mean that you have an eyeball that is longer than normal. This level of myopia results in poor uncorrected visual acuity and affects the quality of vision at all distances.

What causes high myopia?

High myopia is often the result of genetics, environmental factors, or a combination of both. When the eye is too long or too stretched, light falls short of the retina, resulting in blurred vision.

What are the risks of high myopia?

High myopia can increase the risk of developing other more severe eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, and myopic macular degeneration.

  1. Retinal detachment: the retina (a thin layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye) comes away from the back of the eye, and fluid accumulates in the space.
  2. Myopic Retinoschisis (MRS): the retina splits into two or more layers causing more severe central and peripheral vision loss. MRS can also increase the risk of developing other eye problems, such as macular holes and retinal detachment.
  3. Myopic macular degeneration (MMD): as the central part of the retina thins, focusing on specific objects and even recognising faces can become more difficult.
  4. Glaucoma: high myopia that leads to structural changes in the eye and impairs the function of the optic nerve and retina, causing vision loss is termed Glaucoma.
  5. Cataracts: several factors can contribute to the formation of cataracts (clouding of the lens within the eye) for those with high myopia and impair vision further.

Symptoms of high myopia

A person with high myopia may experience symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, squinting and difficulty seeing far away. These signs can be noticed with other underlying medical conditions too. Regular eye tests are important and can help early detection and ensure effective management.

Best contact lenses for high myopia

A range of contact lenses are available at Feel Good Contacts, with specifications reaching up to -12.00D for some standard lenses. Specialised lenses like Biofinity XR and Proclear can cater for even higher prescriptions, up to -20.00D. Those with a combination of high myopia and high astigmatism can opt for contact lenses such as Biofinity XR Toric or Proclear Toric XR.

Best glasses for high myopia

For high myopia, choose small round plastic frames and the ultra-thin lens package. Here is a curated collection of high myopia glasses that you can select for correcting your vision:

Ray-Ban Round RX2447V 2000 49 Shiny Black

This classic pair of Ray-Ban glasses will suit any style and occasion. With small, round and premium-quality acetate frames, they are incredibly lightweight and comfortable for all-day wear.

Superdry SDO Jayde 117 Purple/Amber Fade

With durable spring hinges and a lightweight acetate material these glasses provide the utmost comfort. Suitable for any occasion, these Superdry glasses make a style statement. When ordering your new glasses, enter your prescription details and choose the ultra-thin lens package.

Feel Good Collection Elliot Grey Stripe Tortoise

These cute grey stripe tortoise pattern frames are made using a high-quality acetate material. Not only is this frame fashionable, but it can even correct your high myopic prescription when you choose the ultra-thin lens package.

Treatment for high myopia

High myopia can be corrected using glasses or contact lenses. Alternative options include laser eye surgery and lens replacement surgery. An eye care professional can advise you about the best option for you.

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