Will My Myopia Worsen if I Don’t Wear Glasses?

Myopia is not just an inconvenience. It is a serious eye condition that, if left untreated, could lead to more severe eye problems. But what exactly causes myopia? And what happens if it's left untreated?

Understanding Myopia

The primary cause of myopia is an elongation of the eyeball. This elongation causes light entering the eye to focus in front of the retina, rather than directly on it, leading to blurred vision.

The exact reasons why the eyeball elongates are still unclear, but there is a consensus among researchers that it is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. For instance, my parents are both myopic, and research suggests that children with myopic parents are more likely to develop myopia themselves.

The most noticeable symptom of myopia is the difficulty in seeing distant objects clearly. However, other symptoms include frequent squinting, eye strain, headaches, and feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports.

The Impact of Untreated Myopia

Glasses correct the refractive error causing the blurred vision but do not cure myopia or stop its progression. Avoiding wearing corrective lenses can result in frequent headaches and eye strain. Not wearing glasses when they're needed can also lead to further complications.

Retinal detachment, for instance, is a condition where the retina pulls away from the back of the eye, leading to severe vision loss. Myopia increases the risk of retinal detachment because the elongation of the eyeball can thin and weaken the retina.

Glaucoma and macular degeneration are other conditions that can be triggered by untreated myopia. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which can result in vision loss, while macular degeneration affects the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision.

Treatment Options for Myopia

In addition to glasses, myopia can also be treated with orthokeratology, a non-surgical procedure that involves wearing rigid gas permeable contact lenses overnight to reshape the cornea.

Another treatment option is refractive surgery, such as LASIK or PRK, which changes the shape of the cornea to correct the refractive error.

Managing Myopia Effectively

While myopia is a lifelong condition, it doesn't have to define your life. With awareness, early detection, and effective management, you can live a fulfilling life despite having myopia.

For more information on myopia and effective treatment options, visit Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates at our office in Roslyn, New York. Please call (516) 365-4500 to schedule an appointment today.