A recent study suggests that individuals who have myopia (nearsightedness) are at a higher risk of glaucoma.
Three separate studies spanning over 10 years were conducted on 711 Chinese patients, 104 Malay patients, and 46 Indian patients by the Singapore Eye Research Institute (Seri) and Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC).
The researchers uncovered similar risks in the different groups of patients for glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye condition that leads to blindness because of built-up pressure in the eyes. This pressure ultimately damages the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss.
Chinese patients with moderate myopia were five times more likely to develop glaucoma and Malays were three times more likely to develop glaucoma.
Researcher Professor Aung Tin explained, “We suspect that when you have very high myopia, your eyeball becomes stretched and the tissue supporting the nerve in the eye is weaker, so you are at more risk of eye pressure.” Reduced blood flow to the eye in cases of myopia may also be a contributing factor to a higher glaucoma risk.
Myopia is on the rise worldwide, especially among children, as more children are staying indoors looking at screens as opposed to being outdoors. Other risk factors of myopia include eye injury, far-sightedness, and the use of steroid medications.
It’s important that you undergo regular eye exams to prevent blindness from glaucoma because if caught early on, treatments and interventions can occur to preserve a person’s sight.
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