When you’re near-sighted, and you’ve been wearing glasses all your life, every visit to the ophthalmologist’s becomes a nail-biting moment. Did my eyesight worsen, am I at wiz again, are my retinas fine, will I go blind is what you’re constantly thinking.
I’ve been blind without glasses for the most part of my life, and people give me hell for that. Dumb questions include: Why are your eyes so 🐸-like? And Did you ever have a brain tumor and why haven’t you gotten LASIK done?
So if you’re someone with a myopic child or if you’re someone that has, at some point, been super curious about nearsightedness – here are some things you need to know about myopia and the people that suffer from it:
• There are three kinds of myopia – pathologic, which is caused by abnormal axial elongation of the eyeball; school-going, which is the commonest and is seen in most kids today, it stabilizes by the time you’ve hit your late teens or early twenties; adult-onset, usually related to near vision work or accommodation* issues.
• People with high minus power (upwards of -5.00 or -6.00 Diopters) are at constant risk of retinal detachment or glaucoma, and completely lose vision. Please don’t ask your near-slighted myope friend about how blind she is, because she knows it and she’s already upset about it. You need not make it ten times worse.
• LASIK has a success rate of about ninety-six percent and results in dry eye or photosensitivity, or both. Again, don’t give your friend unsolicited advice about getting the procedure done because there are risks on top of the ones I already mentioned, and if she’s got high myopia, the LASIK could give her keratoconus* and it would be hella difficult to manage. The eye stretches out into an egg shaped structure when the patient already has high myopia, and the poor retina back there is being squished like heck. Please don’t squish your friend’s soul too.
• No, your friend doesn’t have a brain tumor that’s pushing her eyeballs out of their sockets. They’re that way because either her orbits aren’t deep enough on top of the elongation that’s making her eyes look abnormally large. Myopes don’t need your pity and they don’t need your judgement.
• Finally, if your friend is a myope married to another myope, she knows she’s going to someday produce a tiny myope and she’s aware of that and she’s made sure she’s going to see the ophthalmologist, so thanks very much for your concern.
And now, glossary:
• Accommodation, in ophthalmology, refers to the process by which the vertebrate eye changes optical power to maintain a clear image or focus on an object as its distance changes. Accommodation spasm happens when the ciliary body muscle of the eye stays in a state of perpetual contraction, causing a lot of discomfort and blurry vision.
• Keratoconus is the outward bulging of the cornea.