Progressive myopia is considered to be a condition of the visual system when eyesight is decreasing by more than 1.0 D (dioptre) a year. Myopia (nearsightedness) progresses most actively in children at school age – within the period of most intense visual loads. At the same time, a child’s body is growing rapidly (and the eyes in particular). In some cases, increase in length of an eye bulb can become abnormal causing deficient nutrition of eye tissues, retinal tear or detachment and vitreous opacity. Therefore, myopic people are recommended to avoid taking jobs that involve lifting heavy loads in a bent position of the body with the head down as well as doing sport activities that involve jerky movements (jumping, boxing, fighting, etc.), as it can lead to retinal detachment (dystrophy) and even loss of sight. Myopia progression can lead to irreversible changes in central regions of the retina and dramatic decrement in visual acuity.
Ways to address myopia progression
When peripheral retinal dystrophies leading to retinal detachment are revealed, strengthening procedure of the retina is performed with help of retinal laser coagulation. The duration of this procedure is 10-15 minutes. Admission to hospital is not required. Local eye drop anesthesia, which is used during the procedure, excludes soreness.
Principle of the treatment is based on the fact that laser action causes sharp temperature rise, which results in coagulation (clotting) of tissues. The laser is of high accuracy and used for binding the retina and choroid of the eye (i.e. retinal tightening or strengthening).
To address myopia progression, an effective and reliable surgical technique is used, which is called scleroplasty. Scleroplasty is aimed at reinforcement of sclera (outer layer of the eye) in pathologically changed segments.
In the course of such surgical intervention, a special disk is inserted into an eye bulb to serve as a specific “frame” for the sclera, thus reinforcing the walls of the eye, suspending its growth and myopia progression. Scleroplasty also contributes to expansion in the number of vessels that supply nourishment to the posterior pole of the eyeball, thus improving the blood supply to the eye. This surgery takes 15-20 minutes and is performed under a local eye drop anesthesia on the outpatient basis.
It is extremely dangerous to keep progressive myopia out of special control since this condition of the visual system can gradually lead to irreversible changes in central retinal regions and a dramatic decrease in vision.
In mixed myopia - when myopia is caused by both increase of the eye bulb size and non-sufficient power of the refractive apparatus (cornea and crystalline lens) – scleroplasty is also prescribed. Excimer laser correction can be additionally performed to eliminate residual myopia.