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Question:
Will high myopia ever stabilize and if so, at what age does this happen? Can people with high myopia expect to live a normal life and do things like drive a car and work a regular job?  

Answer:
Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when the eye naturally causes light rays to focus in front of the retina. This condition can be caused by abnormalities in the cornea of the eye or the lens but is most often caused by excessive growth of the eye so that the eye is longer than normal.  

High myopia is generally defined as nearsightedness requiring a glasses correction of -6.00 diopters or more and is sometimes referred to as degenerative myopia or pathological myopia. In this condition the growth of the eye will generally stabilize between 20 to 30 years of age. While this condition can increase the risk of retinal detachment, degenerative changes in the retina, vitreous floaters, cataracts, or glaucoma, in the majority of individuals with this condition, vision can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or cataract or clear lens replacement surgery to reduce the nearsightedness. Most people with this condition can expect to live a normal life with good vision. However, it is important to have close regular exam examinations by your Eye M.D. in order to diagnose and treat any problems that might be developing early in the course of this condition.

Answered by: Louis B. Cantor, MDDr. Louis B. Cantor

Categories: Eye Conditions; General Eye Health; Vision Correction

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Answered: Apr 23, 2012

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