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Ophthalmology & Optometry/myopia and retina thinning/detachment


I'm a 62 yr old male and have needed corrective lenses since I was 12. I have a high prescription for near-sidedness, especially in one eye, which is -9.50 for contact lenses. I was told years ago that because of my extreme myopia, I'm at higher risk for a detached retina. I recently talked to someone who also has high power lenses and they said she has 'thinning of the retina.' How concerned should I be about either of those conditions?  Thanks

Hi Lee
High myopia, over -6, carries with it a statistically increased risk of retinal detachment or tear.  It's because an eye that is more than -6 is larger in size than average, and the 'one size fits all' retina we're given has to stretch to accommodate the increased surface area of the globe.  it's just like thinning the pizza dough to make a larger pizza.  It's not a lot bigger of a globe, as it only takes approx. 3mm in diameter more than average to explain the -9 you have.  anyway, some people are told they have a thin retina, others aren't and actually it's hard to tell for many so it doesn't matter.  you are supposed to know the symptoms of a detachment or tear, which is a sudden increase in any floaters you're used to or a sudden onset of flashes of light like lightening or camera flashes. Or if a section of your vision blurs and becomes a shadow or veil. You are also supposed to get your retina examined every year or two.  So no significant worries, just info and explanation.  
Mitch Axelrod, OD

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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Mitchell Axelrod


I'm happy to answer questions about eye exam findings and procedures, glasses and contact lens types/prescriptions/problems. I can also answer questions about general eye conditions/diseases. I do not answer questions concerning surgical techniques/procedures. Please state your age or within a small range when asking questions, as it is often important.


Optometrist 19 yrs.

Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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