Myopia and retinal detachment

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Julio C. Gom, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. Julio C. Gom

    Julio C. Gom Guest

    Hi there,

    I am 21 years old and I have been myopic since I was 10 years old. My
    prescription now is 4.5D L and 3.5D R. My doctor says that my eyes are
    OK, but I would like to know if I have a high risk of suffer a retinal
    detachment (now or some years later). Is thisk risk much higher than
    in a "normal" eye? I have been looking for some statistics about this
    and I don't find any. I always read that you must take care if you
    have more than -6.0 diopters... but what about -4.5 and -3.5?

    Another question. My myopia has only increased 0.5D in each eye since
    I was 14 years old, so it's "almost" stationary. But I always read
    that myopia increases quickly until 20 or 21 years old. Any

    Thanks in advance,

    Julio C. Gom, Sep 28, 2003
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  2. Julio C. Gom

    Jim Lawton Guest

    My eyes worsened throughtout my life until I was about 50, when they were around
    -7.0 - then at 55, I had an RD in my right eye.

    The stat for the general population is around 1 in 10000 suffer.

    There's very little you can do, except keep to your regular eye exams, and
    educate yourself as to the symptoms of the onset of an RD.

    For my story, see

    I shouldn't worry - the traffic is more likely to get you :)

    cheers Jim
    Jim Lawton, Sep 28, 2003
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  3. Julio C. Gom

    Otis Brown Guest

    (Julio C. Gom) wrote in message
    Dear Julio,

    Because of my interest in the dynamic behavior of the
    natural eye, I spent a good deal of time working with
    Dr. Francis Young. He provided me with a paper
    called, "Morbidity from Myopia". Roughly he stated
    that the probability went up with the degree of
    myopia. From memory, I believe the rate was 1 in 1,000
    for -6 diopters of myopia.



    Otis Brown, Sep 29, 2003
  4. Julio C. Gom

    Julio C. Gom Guest

    1 in 1000 for -6 diopters seems a low risk. In a previous reply,
    Robert said that those with more than -6.0 have a 5% risk. I have been
    looking for some info and I have found both statements. It doesn't
    have sense.

    The only explanation is that the risk is 1 in 1000 if you have -6.0D
    and 5% (or 1 in 20) if you have -6.0 _OR MORE_ diopters. But this
    difference is really big, I don't understand it. I am confused. Aren't
    there enough studies about it? The paper that you talk about is from
    1979. If the rate is 1/1000 for -6.0D myopics, why are them considered
    a "risk group"?

    I have also read that people with more than -5.0D or more have a 2%


    Julio C. Gom, Sep 29, 2003
  5. Julio C. Gom

    Jim Lawton Guest

    The risk, whatever it is, is *minimal* - as yourself how many people you know
    who have had retinal detachments? I guess none. How many people have posted in
    this specific news group over the last two years? Very few - certainly under

    Leeds is a cuty with a population of about 500000 - during the two days I was
    in the hospital there were 3 RDs in surgery, including mine.

    Jim Lawton, Sep 30, 2003
  6. Julio C. Gom

    Julio C. Gom Guest

    Yes, I think you are right, 1/1000 should be an annual risk. If you
    know that RD occurs in 1 of every 15000 people (yearly), 50% of
    detachments are caused by (high) myopia, 25% of the population is
    myopic and 1 out of 10 myopics have more than -6D, you can apply some
    maths (Bayes) and you have "almost" the same result (
    0.5*(1/15000)/(0.25*0.1) ).

    1 in 20 sounds like an high risk... :(
    Julio C. Gom, Oct 1, 2003
  7. Julio C. Gom

    Julio C. Gom Guest

    Well, I have met only one person who has had a RD. I know that the
    risk is low, but the doctor always talk to me about this problem like
    if I were going to have a detachment next week. This scares me.
    Julio C. Gom, Oct 1, 2003
  8. Julio C. Gom

    Otis Brown Guest

    Dear Robert and Julio,

    It was obviously the intent of Dr. Perkins to specify a
    life-time average (not yearly risk). But you get this
    impression from reading the entire article on, "Morbidity
    from Myopia."

    I think the 1 in 1,000 is for the individual. That
    is the probability that one of the the two
    eyes will develop a detached retina in that person's
    life time.

    Fortunately, the "repair" done by lasers is good,
    and if caught it time, the retina can be stiched back
    on to the sclera. If not, the retina drifts out
    into the vitereous -- and that is what causes
    the blindness.

    So -- if you see "curve" lines (like bike tires that
    are bent), and "colored sparks", find an
    eye doctor as rapidly as possible.


    Otis Brown, Oct 1, 2003
  9. Julio C. Gom

    Jim Lawton Guest

    You said :- "My doctor says that my eyes are OK" - that's the bit to believe.
    Once again, there is *no point* worrying about stuff you can do nothing about.
    Like many issues that arise on this ng this is much more a psychological problem
    than a physical one. Take the cards you are dealt, get on with your life, sort
    stuff out when it happens.

    If some one says "your risk is exactly 1 in 4302" how will that help you? It's
    not like dentistry, there is no preventive or pre-emptive action you can take,
    Remember - I've *had* an RD - scary? yes. fixed? yes. Being alive is a risk.

    That's the end of my "uncle" talk.

    good luck Jim
    Jim Lawton, Oct 1, 2003
  10. Julio C. Gom

    Jim Lawton Guest

    1 in 20 is certainly rubbish - if that was the case, every one you met would
    know someone who's had an RD, and I know two, one of whom was me :)
    And there are more agressive forma of surgery, as I had, with very high success

    Like any illness, if you know what to look out for - and usually the symtoms are
    pretty obvious, you can get it fixed : "blindness" is way way way down the

    I caught my RD the instant it happened - from that point to surgery was 48
    hours, the outcome was 100% recovery of sight in that eye.

    Jim Lawton, Oct 1, 2003
  11. Julio C. Gom

    Dan Abel Guest

    It is desirable to be scared enough that you will be motivated to call the
    doctor as soon as you think you might have one, but not scared enough that
    it affects your life in any other way. There's really nothing you can do
    to prevent it (I recommend not taking up boxing, though :) ), and the
    chances of recovering your vision are good if you get it taken care of
    right away.
    Dan Abel, Oct 1, 2003
  12. Julio C. Gom

    Dr Judy Guest

    Prevention is not really possible, you can have early detection and early

    When he was 8, he suffered a giant tear that multiple surgeries were
    Sounds like you are getting good, proactive care to help with detection of
    future tears.

    Still I know he's at high risk for another RD. He's
    You are doing all you can.

    Dr Judy
    Dr Judy, Oct 2, 2003
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