Parents and doctors worry about myopia because it progresses, causing vision to become worse and it also causes bad changes in the physical structure of the eye that increase the risk of blindness from conditions such as retinal tears or detachments and glaucoma. Myopia is a dangerous epidemic.
A study published in the October 2013 issue of the journal Optometry & Vision Science examined the structures of the eye that are critical for normal vision in a group of Korean children with a spectacles prescription of -6.00 or greater.
The researchers found that the the retinal nerve fiber layer, particularly the inferior quadrant, was significantly thinner than in age-matched children with less myopia ≤ −3.00 diopters. Macular thickness and volume were also less in the highly myopic eyes. These are unhealthy changes in the eyes of highly myopic children that put them at increased risk of conditions like retinal tears and detachments, which are medical emergencies and could result in permanent vision loss.
The study highlights the need for eye doctors to monitor structural changes in the eyes of myopic children and the need for parents of such children to take their kids to the eye doctor for regular eye exams.
Optometry and Vision Science: Official Publication of the American Academy of OptometryComparison of OCT Measurements Between High Myopic and Low Myopic Children, Optom Vis Sci 2013 Oct 09;[EPub Ahead of Print], H-T Lim, BY Chun