When and why does myopia occur? Paolo Vinciguerra, Head of the Ophthalmic Centre of Humanitas, answers this question.


Why does myopia occur?

Myopia is the most common visual defect in the world, and it is usually caused by a longer eyeball than normal: “The light rays from distant objects, instead of falling on the retina, stop in front of it, generating a blurred vision,” explains Dr. Vinciguerra. At least 2-3 Italians out of 10 suffer from it, and it can also occur in association with an ocular disease called keratoconus, which causes an excessive curvature of the cornea. “At other times – concludes the doctor – myopia derives from an excessive refractive power of the lens: it can occur in case of cataract, which involves the maturation of the lens. Studies have shown that the earlier myopia develops, the greater the risk of it becoming worse with age. “An eyeball that is longer than normal – Vinciguerra explains – subjects the eye to greater stress, favoring lesions at the level of the periphery of the retina, which can become thinner, causing lacerations and therefore detachment”.


How do I recognize myopia?

“For a certain diagnosis of myopia – explains Dr. Vinciguerra – a careful eye examination that also includes the use of cyclopegic drops (to dilate the pupil) is sufficient.


How is myopia corrected?

The instruments indicated to correct myopia are:

– Glasses (“Particularly suitable for children because they are easier to manage,” comments Dr. Vinciguerra Corriere);

– Contact lenses (for which “it is recommended to wait until adolescence”);

– Refractive surgery: to get rid of glasses and contact lenses. “To evaluate its suitability – concludes Dr. Vinciguerra – it is essential to carefully evaluate the clinical characteristics of the subject”.


For more information on refractive surgery, visit the dedicated page.