Myopia myths & misconceptions

Myopia cannot be reversed and can be managed only by slowing down its progression. PHOTO: ST FILE

1. Myopia is a childhood problem.

The risk of vision loss increases with age. In the early stages, it does not cause loss of sight, hence it is important to take preventive measures to stop its further progression.

2. Myopia will not cause blindness.

Myopia, particularly high myopia, is a complex condition, and it is associated with major eye diseases like cataract and glaucoma that require early intervention as they could cause visual impairment or blindness.

3. Myopia can be treated easily with a pair of glasses or contact lenses.

Although your child may be able to function as per normal with good vision while wearing glasses or contact lenses, myopia is related to the elongation of the eyeball and the refractive power in the eye. Therefore, it means your child is still at risk.

4. Wearing pinhole glasses can train eyesight and reverse myopia.

Myopia cannot be reversed and can be managed only by slowing down its progression.

Pinhole glasses can help your child focus on an object in front of him, but it will also block part of what he is looking at.

There is also no conclusive evidence or clinical trials to support the claim that these glasses improve vision from myopia.

5. Taking supplements such as vitamin A will prevent myopia.

Myopia is not caused by a vitamin A-deficiency. Some studies suggest that diets high in vitamin A may be associated with a reduced risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, but it will not help to prevent myopia or improve one's vision.

6. After refractive surgery such as Lasik, I am no different from somebody who doesn't wear glasses.

Refractive surgery only changes the front parts of your eyes, hence, your eyes are still longer than normal. Your risks of myopia complications are the same as somebody with your degrees who has not gone through the surgery.

7. My young child should not wear glasses because that will cause his degrees to increase.

Not wearing glasses will not stop myopia from increasing. If anything, it may even cause your child's myopia to increase more rapidly. He would also be disadvantaged due to poor vision.

If the severity of myopia is significant and your child is very young, not correcting the refraction with glasses may lead to irreversible amblyopia, also known as lazy eye.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.