SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS | MYOPIA
DIFFICULTY WITH SEEING THINGS AT DISTANCE
What is short-sightedness, and can it be fixed?
In the normal eye, the cornea focuses light rays directly on the retina, resulting in clear vision without glasses or contact lenses.
In myopia, or short-sightedness, the eye is longer than normal. In some cases, the cornea may be more curved than normal.
The light rays go through the cornea but come together at a point in front of the retina, and are out of focus on the retina.
In short-sightedness, distant objects are blurred, while nearby objects can be clear.
You might be surprised that genetics is not the only factor in short-sightedness. Environmental factors also play a role. For example, short-sightedness almost doesn’t exist among members of traditional societies. As soon as you send children to school, however, about 40% of them develop this refractive error. It appears that there might be cells in the retina that respond to environmental demands of modern societies.
What is the best treatment for short-sightedness?
We use laser eye surgery (LASIK and ReLEx SMILE ™) to change the shape and curve of the cornea to correct or reduce these types of refractive errors. For patients in whom the cornea is not suitable for LASIK or SMILE ™ we can offer phakic IOL implantation. We can also use phakic IOLs to treat very high levels of short-sightedness.
SMILE ™ has been proven to be safe and effective for short-sightedness up to -10 dioptres. Dioptres are the units of focus in which your spectacle prescription is measured and documented. The spectacle prescription of the eye is 1 divided by the resting focal length of the eye measured in metres. So if the resting focal length of the eye is 50 centimetres (0.5metres) then the prescription of the eye is -2. Short sighted prescriptions have a minus sign at the beginning and long-sighted prescriptions have a plus sign.
SMILE ™ is the subject of research into treating higher prescriptions than -10. Phakic IOLs can comfortably treat up to -18 dioptres of short-sightedness. We have successfully treated patients with even higher prescriptions by combining phakic IOL implantation with LASIK laser surgery three months after the lens implantation.