Myopia is defined as pathological when the refractive defect exceeds 6 diopters and the axial length of the eye is greater than 26 millimeters.
The excessive axial elongation of the eye, a typical characteristic of a high myopic, causes biomechanical stretching and a progressive thinning of the outermost layers of the ocular globe.
The transmission of myopia is related to different genes that within the same family unit can induce different states of myopia. Women seem to be the most affected by myopia with consequent degenerative processes.
Currently, there are no therapies capable of preventing the factors that trigger pathological myopia.
Complications of Pathological Myopia
Pathological myopia involves a series of complications that can differ in terms of symptoms and therapy.
- Changes affecting staphyloma (curvature of the sclera)
- Atrophic changes affecting the choroid, epithelium, and photoreceptors
- Choroidal neovascularization: represents one of the most serious complications of pathological myopia and the main cause is represented by visual acuity
- Greater risk of retinal detachment
- Scotoma-associated metamorphopsia: the patient complains of a noticeable decrease in vision associated with the vision of distorted images and a black spot in the center of the visual field
- Diffuse Chorioretinal Atrophy, an important risk factor for the development of neovascular membranes. Patients with diffuse chorioretinal atrophy have been shown to be 5 times more at risk of developing choroidal neovascularization than patients without atrophy.
Treating Pathological Myopia Today
To date, Pathological Myopia allows a much faster approach than 20 years ago.
It is enough to think that the precondition for the development of a macular hole and retinal detachment (considered among the most serious complications of pathological myopia) is identified today as myopic foveoschisis.
A Scrupulous Diagnosis and Careful Clinical Instrumental Monitoring are crucial factors for the correct surgical indication for a healthy reconstitution of the anatomy of the retinal structures.
Periodic checks with a particular focus on all the singularities that characterize the disease are often effective in averting some of the most feared complications.
The technology available to observe and analyze pathological myopia such as OCT and digital images is today fundamental for developing an accurate differential diagnosis and therapeutic treatment which, in most cases, is able to stop the evolution of more serious complications.