Eyes are an amazing part of the body, but just like any other body part, they are susceptible to illness and injury.
Out of the problems you can have with your eyes, a common issue is blurry vision. Blurred vision can get in the way of your daily life but may be treated with glasses, contacts, LASIK, or corneal refractive therapy. Blurred distance vision caused by nearsightedness, also known as myopia, can potentially hold greater risks than just impaired vision.1 Because of this it’s important to see your eye doctor regularly to maintain your ocular health and prevent bigger issues from developing.
As nearsightedness progresses, and prescriptions get higher, so does the risk of vision-threatening consequences later in life, including:
Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve in one or both eyes becomes damaged and continues to get worse over time. Glaucoma is generally caused by a buildup of pressure and, if left untreated, can sometimes lead to blindness. Generally, people do not show symptoms of glaucoma early on so it’s important to visit your eye doctor regularly—especially if you are nearsighted since glaucoma has been shown to occur more frequently in those who are nearsighted.2
If its progression is not slowed, glaucoma can result in permanent vision loss. This is why it is important to take care of your eyes through regular checkups and treatment.
A nearsighted patient has 3 times the risk for developing glaucoma later in life if they have over a -3.00D nearsighted prescription, and there is a 14.6 greater risk for anyone who has a prescription over -5.00D.1
The natural lens inside the eye is mostly made up of water and protein. As we age, the lens proteins build up and can make it difficult to see or make it as if you’re looking through a foggy window. This cloudy lens is called a cataract. In general, cataracts develop over the course of many years and manifest through blurry vision. Because of this you may not recognize right away that you are developing cataracts. Nearsightedness can increase the risk of developing cataracts at an earlier age.2
If cataracts develop and are not removed, they can interfere with your everyday life, preventing you from being able to see clearly and partake in the activities you generally enjoy. By getting regular checkups you have a better chance to prevent or slow the progression of cataracts and, if needed, have them removed before they have too much of a negative impact on your life, or lead to worse problems such as blindness.
Patients with over a -3.00D prescription are 2 times more likely to develop cataracts. Those with over a -5.00D prescription are 5.5 times more likely to develop cataracts.1
Retinal detachment is an emergency condition in which the retina detaches, pulling away from the blood vessels that nourish it and provide it with oxygen. Although retinal detachment is considered a rare condition, it can result in the permanent loss of vision if it is not treated promptly. Some of the most common symptoms of retinal detachment include floaters, sudden flashes of light, or shadows in the field of vision. If you experience any of these symptoms see an eye doctor right away.
If you have been diagnosed with nearsightedness, it’s even more important that you care for your eyes by getting regular checkups and watching for symptoms of retinal detachment, as studies have found that nearly 55 percent of retinal detachments (that are not caused by accidents or traumas) are caused by nearsightedness.3
A nearsighted prescription over –3.00D can increase the chance of retinal detachment times 3. The risk jumps up to 21.5 times more likely with a prescription over -5.00D.1
A very serious condition, in fact the leading cause of new cases of blindness in parts of China is macular degeneration.4 High myopia causes the eye to stretch, damaging the retina. This damage to the central retina can lead to Myopic Macular Degeneration. This dangerous disease causes irreversible vision loss and can be a source of severe visual disability.
Those who have a nearsighted prescription over -3.00D are 2 times more likely to develop myopic macular degeneration, while over a -5.00D prescription has 40 times the risk.1
Treating Your Nearsightedness
When it comes to treating nearsightedness, there are a number of options out there, but one that you may want to consider if you haven’t already is corneal refractive therapy. Corneal refractive therapy can be done with Paragon CRT® lenses which, when worn at night will gently reshape the cornea of the eye, allowing you to see with clearer vision during the day without the aid of glasses or daytime contacts.
By taking proper care of your eyes and getting regular checkups you can prevent or slow the occurrence of serious conditions that will affect your eyes’ health.
If you are interested in finding a Paragon CRT® certified eye doctor, you can use our find a doctor locator tool here.
 D.I. Filtcroft, Progress in Retinal and Eye Research 31 (2012) 622-660
 Lim, R., Mitchell, P., & Cumming, R. G. (1999). Refractive Associations with Cataract: The Blue Mountains Eye Study. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 40, 3021-3026. Retrieved July 8, 2019, from https://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2199809.
 The Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group, Risk Factors for Idiopathic Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 137, Issue 7, 1 April 1993, Pages 749–757, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a116735
 Holden, B. A., Mariotti, S. P., Kocur, I., Resnikoff, S., He, M., Naidoo, K., & Jong, M. (2015, March 16-18). The Impact of Myopia And High Myopia (Rep.). doi:http://www.who.int/blindness/causes/MyopiaReportforWeb.pdf