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I have a 9-year-old niece with high myopia of around -15D and she has been using glasses since she was seven. She has been seeing a doctor every six months. Since she is so young to have high myopia, we are scared of retinal detachment as she grows up. I have read many articles online but almost all of them are talking about research for myopia of -10D and below. Are there any treatments for her level of myopia?
This seems to be two questions. The first is, what can you do about her progressive myopia. There are some studies that show that Atropine drops may slow the myopia but the effect is short-lived and the myopia typically will revert to what it would have been without the drops and there are many side effects of drops. There really are no other ways that have been shown to be effective in stopping or slowing the progression of myopia.
The second question is a concern about a risk of retinal detachment. It is true that myopes have a higher rate of retinal detachment than the general population. The best way to deal with this is to be aware of the symptoms of a retinal tear or detachment and these are floaters, flashes or blurry vision either in the center of the vision or in any part of the visual field. If there is a question about any of these symptoms, urgent attention by an Eye M.D. is necessary. Also, I would recommend yearly dilated examinations to evaluate any ongoing or asymptomatic abnormality in the retina.
Answered by: Gary Hirshfield, MD
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