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How blinding is pathological myopia?
  1. S-M Saw
  1. Correspondence to: Associate professor Seang-Mei Saw Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, National University of Singapore, 16 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597, Republic of Singapore; cofsawsm{at}

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The risks of visual loss in myopia are sufficiently high to warrant measures to prevent pathological myopia

Myopia may not be a fatal disease, but the economic, social and medical costs of myopia should not be ignored. In east Asian cities, myopia is very common and appears to be rising in some parts of the world.1,2 Vision in myopia may be restored using optical devices such as spectacles and contact lenses, but high myopia is closely linked to potentially visually disabling eye diseases. An extensive literature has documented a myriad of complications including cataract, glaucoma, myopic macular degeneration, retinal holes, and choroidal neovascularisation.3

Although the prevalence rates, natural history, and management of pathological myopia have been addressed in numerous clinical and population based studies, many questions remain unanswered. Firstly, the definition and grading of pathological al myopia is not uniform. There are several other terms also used to describe pathological myopia such as “degenerative myopia” and “malignant myopia.”4 Duke-Elder defined pathological myopia as myopia with degenerative changes especially in the posterior segment.5 Tokoro defined pathological myopia as myopia caused by pathological al axial elongation.6 A more specific definition, myopic retinopathy, refers to the degeneration of chorioretinal tissue associated with axial elongation of the eye.7 In the Blue Mountains Eye Study, myopic retinopathy included the presence of staphyloma, lacquer cracks, Fuchs’ spot, myopic chorioretinal …

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  • Competing interests: none declared

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