What is Myopia?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a common eye condition caused by a refractive anomaly in the eyes, where the cornea curves too sharply or the eye orbit is longer than usual, factors that prevent seeing clearly at a distance. 

It usually affects both eyes, although each one has a different level of involvement. It was believed that myopia stopped advancing after the age of 20, but today it is known that the disease can progress several years later. 

Myopia has traditionally been one of the eye conditions with the highest incidence, but in recent years its appearance has increased due to the excessive use of personal electronic devices. However, it can also be caused by:

  • Heredity: if there is a family history of myopia, the risk of suffering from it increases significantly. 
  • Effect of certain diseases: if you suffer from diabetes, cataracts, or keratoconus it is likely that you will develop temporary or permanent myopia.
  • Environmental factors: excessive daily exposure to electronic devices, without adequate light ,and without rest periods is an important trigger.
  • Toxic substances: ingesting toxic agents that affect the body may possibly damage the sight temporarily or permanently. 

Myopia is classified in two types according to its severity:

  • Slight or low: when the affected eyes have less than six diopters, its progress usually stops at the age of 20, but it is necessary to monitor it through periodic eye exams.
  • Severe or high: more than six diopters, usually stops between 21 and 31 years. In it, there is an excessive elongation of the eyeball that can damage the retina. 

Signs and symptoms Myopia

Myopia allows you to see up close but prevents you from having clear vision at a distance. 

The most common symptoms are:

  • Inability to see in the distance.
  • Effort focusing your eyes.
  • Eyestrain.
  • Headaches.

Sometimes it is difficult for children to realize or communicate that they have visual difficulties, therefore, it is important to subject them to regular eye exams in order to be able to detect any possible anomaly and act accordingly, something that also applies in grown-ups.

Potential risks:

If you suffer from myopia you have a higher risk of experiencing other diseases such as:

  • Glaucoma.
  • Cataracts.
  • Retinal detachment.

Diagnosis and treatment Myopia

The ophthalmologist will perform a general eye exam, which consists of a series of tests that give him or her elements to assess your visual capacity and your eyes anatomy, which will allow him or her to make an accurate diagnosis.

Once the diagnosis is defined, he or she will establish the most appropriate treatment for you, but in general it should include the use of framed glasses, contact lenses or, in very advanced cases, refractive surgery.

Through this surgical procedure it is possible to fix the anomaly without the need of using glasses. The most used techniques are:

  • Lasik: uses a laser to correct corneal deformation. 
  • Photorefractive keratotomy (PRK): using a laser, the cornea is modified so that light refraction is correct.

In ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • imo.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Pérez GD, García GFR, González PI, et al. Phacoemulsification and intraocular lens implant for the correction of high myopia. Rev Acta Médica. 2014;15(1).
  • Esteban AIC, Bonilla PD. Influencia de los factores epidemiológicos para la progresión del defecto refractivo en pacientes con miopía. Mediciego. 2012;18(Suppl: 1).
  • Cavazos-Salias CG, Montemayor-Saldaña N, Salum-Rodríguez L, et al. Prevalencia de miopía y factores de riesgo asociados en estudiantes de medicina en Monterrey . Rev Mex Oftalmol. 2019;93(5):246-253.
  • Pons CL, Noa HY, Hernández SLR, et al. Características de los pacientes pediátricos con miopía por encima de 6 dioptrías. Rev Cub Oftal. 2019;32(3):1-14.

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