If you have high myopia (severe short-sightedness), usually over 600 degrees, you may be at risk of developing complications in the macula (the part of the retina used for central vision), which are often termed "myopic maculopathy" or "pathologic myopia".
Patients with short-sightedness of over 600 degrees are considered to have "high myopia". Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long, and light rays entering the eye are unable to focus sharply on the light-sensitive part of the eye called the retina (Find out more about myopia). The macula is the part of the retina that has the highest concentration of cones (a type of light sensitive cell) and is essential for sharp central vision. (Read more on how the eye works)
In high myopia, excessive elongation of the eyeball results in stretching and thinning of the retina, especially at the macula. Various complications can occur in the macula that cause vision loss, including retinal degeneration (myopic macular degeneration), splitting of the retinal layers (myopic foveoschisis), and bleeding from abnormal blood vessels (myopic choroidal neovascularisation).
Retinal photograph showing severe degeneration of the macula in a highly myopic eye. Cases with degeneration like this are likely to have severe, irreversible vision loss.
OCT scan showing retinal thinning and degeneration in myopic maculopathy
Retinal photograph showing a highly myopic eye with bleeding and retinal edema (swelling) from growth of abnormal blood vessels (myopic choroidal neovascularization), which is a complication of myopic maculopathy
OCT scan showing splitting of the retinal layers (myopic foveoschisis) due to high myopia
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