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Dealing With Degenerative Myopia

Most people do not take Myopia seriously. After all, it […]

By Published On: 22 April 20163.2 min read

Most people do not take Myopia seriously. After all, it is a common vision problem. This condition, (also called nearsightedness or short-sightedness), involves having blurred vision when looking at things far from you while objects near you appear clear. This is assuming you are not wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Perhaps, the notion of myopia as a relatively safe eye condition comes from the fact that most cases improve as one ages, especially with the help of eye glasses or contact lenses. However, very few people know that myopia can actually be a serious problem that can cause vision loss. Read on to learn more about this condition.

Degenerative Myopia

This condition is more severe than other types of nearsightedness. It is associated with changes in the retina and the macula. It progresses rapidly and it can cause severe vision loss and retinal detachment.

Degenerative myopia is believed to be hereditary and is present from the time of birth. Most of the time, however, its symptoms begin to manifest during the pre-teen years. It is the seventh leading cause of legal blindness in the United States, affecting around 2% of its population. It commonly affects Japanese, Jewish, Middle Easterners and Chinese.


•    Headaches – this occurs because the corrective glasses are usually out of date. To try and see better in the distance one will squint, which in turn causes eye strain and then can manifest as a headache.

•    Light flashes

•    Cataract formation

•    Decreased vision

•    Increased sensitivity to light

•    Seeing floaters

•    Its symptoms may resemble those of age-related macular degeneration. Both conditions result in loss of central vision due to the detachment of the retina caused by the abnormal elongation of the eyeball. This usually takes place when the back part of the eye is larger than normal due to severe myopia. The marked stretching and thinning can damage the macula, the surrounding retina and the underlying tissue which will then result in having blurred vision.

•    Atrophy of the layer of the retina where blood vessels are located and break in Bruch’s membrane can create lacquer cracks. The blood vessels have the tendency to protrude through the cracks and then leak into the sub-retinal space under the photoreceptor cells. The hemorrhaging can result into retinal detachment, profound loss of central field vision and scarring.


Here are some possible means of treating degenerative myopia:

•    If you experience hemorrhaging of blood vessels through the lacquer cracks, you should get immediate medical attention. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-angiogenic drug treatment such as Lucentis or Avastin or photodynamic therapy. Both remedies may be used simultaneously to address the problem.

•    Scleral buckling is a surgical procedure used to treat retinal detachment. It flattens and closes the breaks in the retina. A scleral buckle is a silicone sponge, rubber or semi-hard plastic material that your retinal specialist places on your sclera or the white part of your outer eye. It is sewn to the eye to keep it in place permanently.

•    Your ophthalmologist might also discuss early systemic treatment with 7-methylxanthine. This is used to normalize the abnormal growth pattern of the eyes of myopic children who are aged 8 to 13 years old. A Danish pilot study showed that this medication does not seem to have any obvious side effects over the course of 3 years.

•   Recently a study in Singapore discovered that using an eye drop called Atropine in a very low concentration 0.01% can slow down the progression of myopia dramatically.  This is now our preferred method for controlling myopia combined with a procedure called orthokeratology.  More on orthokeratology and atropine can be found by clicking here.

As with any eye condition, early detection and treatment are essential in preventing this type of nearsightedness from worsening. The moment you begin to exhibit its symptoms, don’t shrug them off as they may be indicative of a more serious condition.



  1. Eileen Bryant 25 August 2015 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    I was recently diagnosed with myopic degeneration at age 62. My symptoms are not loss of central vision but cloudiness, especially around sources of light. I struggle to read at work as I feel like I am in a steam room. I do not have cataracts and my eyes are only mildly dry (although I recently started using Restasis). I am beginning to wonder if my symptoms are even due to the myopic, or retinal degeneration. I have found little to help in my research efforts. Can you help? Thank you.

    • Lipsa Patel 27 July 2021 at 4:39 am - Reply

      Hello Eileen,

      I really need to contact you. My mom has exactly the same symptoms as yours. she showed to 2 Retina specialist, nothing to be done and her vision will stay as it is. Can you please help and contact me and let me know how it went after 6 years now. you posted this in 2015. I would really appreciate if you could contact me.

    • Lipsa Patel 27 July 2021 at 5:03 am - Reply


      My mom has exactly the same symptoms as Eileen described. She has been diagnosed with Myopic degeneration. My mom’s mom vision was very bad and as far as I remember, she died at 95 and she wasn’t able to see anything at that time. I don’t know how she was blind but at least it was 13 years she was blind. I would like to know will my mom become blind from Myopic degeneration. I would also like to know what is this hazy and foggy she is seeing around light.

      • Jim Kokkinakis 2 October 2021 at 3:12 pm - Reply

        No one can tell you the answer to this. If your mother is very myopic, that is, she wear very thick glasses for distance vision and she has been seen by a retina specialist that has diagnoses degenerative myopia, then it is unfortunately a possiblity but nothing is definite. I am not sure how old she is but if she is older than 60, the haziness etc that she describes could be the beginning of cataract but this will need to be diagnosed by a good eye doctor.

  2. Lisa 7 April 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    My 7-years-old child was diagnosed with Pathological myopia and I was shocked to hear that, at present, there is no cure available for it. I switched over to homeopathy and was amused to find that his myopic progression was checked. It is a long term course but effective. I am sharing the prescription and advice all parents to consult homeopathy physician before initiating it. Gelesmium 200- 1 drop daily, Physostigma Venenosum 200- 1 drop daily, Kalium phosphoricum 6x- 3 tablets 3 times a day.

  3. Amy Connelly 31 July 2016 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    My 4 year old was diagnosed with progressive myopia. She is currently -10.25 in both eyes and increasing around .75 every 6 months. I need to get her to a specialist ASAP! Can you please recommend someone in the eastern US?

  4. sam 5 October 2016 at 11:08 am - Reply

    hi I am also suffering from deg.myopia. and level is also too high I am currently using glasses -9.00 on right and -12.00 on left eye the level hasn’t been increasing since 5 years . what can be the right way to improve eye power or visioning . any therapy or exercises what can I do currently doing bachelor in finance

  5. Khin 27 November 2016 at 5:16 am - Reply

    Hi, I am not sure if i am suffering from degenerative myopia. but my symptoms are similar. I have vision loss from time to time. My right eye will lost half of the vision like something is stuck there and it will return to normal in 5 to 10 min time. My eyes are also sensitive to light.

    What are they measures that i can take to prevent it? or at least things i should do and i shouldnt?

    I dont want my retina to detach…

  6. Wendy 6 January 2017 at 2:09 am - Reply

    Good evening, please do forgive my detail but I am so in hopes of a solution for my daughter. She has been followed from birth for strabismis. Having BEMS(bi-lateral eye-muscle surg.) three times, from her first year and lastly in JrHS. As well she has worn glasses since her third month with patching into middle school, wearing contacts since HS. During JrHS she lost vision in one eye for about 3-1/2 wks after taking a basketball to the face resulting in a retinal contusion. In HS we learned she had “Pathological Myopia” when reading it on a form from doc to the DMV for a DRVs Lic., but even with contacts she was unable to get a lic. She has been ridiculed by an employer for the visible outline of her contacts, even being vision tested on the signage in front of customers and worse…
    We are prayerfully seeking ANY correction such as would allow her to drive and navigate from bath to bed w/o contacts at night. Being told lenses for glasses, now prescribed at -22.50 and -22.00, would likely virtually touch her eyeball itself. I have great reservations about that being without its own significant RISK to her eye health and safety!
    Any ideas, referrals, suggestions or leads would be so very gratefully appreciated! We are in the San Diego CA area.

  7. ROSEMARY 1 February 2017 at 9:43 am - Reply

    I am strongly myopic with -8 to 9 in each eye. I had cataract surgery in my late forties and went on to have a detached retina requiring laser and Cryo and a buckle in my right eye 2 years later. I’d had lattice degeneration for many years. Yesterday my ophthalmologist was pleased with my level of vision although I’ve lost some peripheral vision due to all the surgery. ( I had preventative treatment to my left eye in 2013). I was shocked to learn that my myopic eyes are also at increased risk of macular degeneration, although there’s no sign of this yet. My ophthalmologist seemed to think that I’ll keep my eyesight but he will be looking out for further deterioration. It feels like it never ends. I’d felt I was out of the woods when my retinal detachment was treated successfully but now I feel much more worried again.

  8. Harsh agarwall 15 February 2017 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Hi !! Plz tell me if i hve a serious problem
    I m 17 years old
    I m using -3 and -5.5 lens in my eyes …??
    Is this a symptom of blindness
    I hve visited my doctor but he has only said me to chnge my lens and has givn an eye drop ” visilube” to use …
    Is immediate treatement needed for this ..
    Plz plz reply and suggest me what should i do !!
    I m from a small city

  9. Jeannie 23 February 2017 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Have had cataracts removed 3 years ago and was told I have mi optic degeneration last years I have these terrible migane heads ache lasting for three mths .in pain all the time . My eye surgeon scheduled me for a MRI next week . My vision has declined I am seeing big back spots zig zgs and sometime white .Do you think headache are related to my myopic degeneration? if so what should I do ?

  10. soumya 27 June 2017 at 11:45 am - Reply

    hi i am 30 years old women.I have been wearing glasses from 14 years age.At that time i was prescribed -2.5 in both eyes.Now i am wearing -5 in right eye and -4.75 in left eye.1.5 year ago i was diagnosed with tiny retinal tear and doctors did laser treatment and fixed it. Do you think mine is degenerative myopia? If so what i have to do now? I am worried Please reply .

    Thank you

    • Jim Kokkinakis 6 July 2017 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      This is very unlikely to be degenerative myopia. This normally occurs to people that are -5 under 10 years of age and by the time they are 30 they are likely to be -15 or even more.

  11. Jim Kokkinakis 12 August 2017 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Bleach can be very dangerous in an eye. Its been a few days since you have written this. If the eye feels normal, it will be fine. On the other hand if it is irritating you I would see someone about this ASAP.

  12. Nayana 12 August 2017 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Hi sir. How dangerous (and progressive) is the presence of myopic discs in a high myopic patient in their 20s? Thank you

    • Jim Kokkinakis 12 August 2017 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Myopic discs are normal for a myopic patient. Regular eye testing to rule out retinal tears and glaucoma is necessary at least once per year.

  13. Kathleen 28 August 2017 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Hi there, I was born with degenerative myopia. I’m 21 years old, and they tell me, my sight will continue to degrade til I’m blind. I currently have sections of my retina thinning out and I’ve had experienced bleeding vessels in the back of the eye, treated and fine now. I have a perscription of -16.0 L eye and -16.75 R eye.
    What’s your opinion of the orthokeratology for my situation?

    • Jim Kokkinakis 17 September 2017 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Kathleen orthokeratology is not for you.
      There have been some great results with lose dose (0.01%) atropine drops to slow down further progression, although these stuides have been done with younger children, not with progressive adults.

  14. Cathy 26 September 2017 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Very helpful article, thank you. My daughter, who has just turned 20, is experiencing occasional flashes because of her very high powers. While her retinal examination has turned out fine, she is severely depressed about the state of her eyesight when she will be much older. Really hoping there will be major medical advancements by then that will successfully cure all these unfortunate conditions associated with degenerative myopia. I’m hearing there are no cures for issues like myopic degeneration yet.

    • Jim Kokkinakis 26 September 2017 at 7:47 am - Reply

      Cathy it important that your daughter does what ever she can to keep contact lenses successful. She must wear daily disposable lenses where possible with no preserved solutions. Even though this is not attending to the possible degeneration process, keeping her successful in contact lenses means she can function perfectly normal. Where are you from? Maybe I can refer you to someone that can guide you.
      She also can use atropine eye drops which have been shown to slow down any further progression. Look up the ATOM studies that have been done in Singapore.

      • Cathy 26 September 2017 at 4:37 pm - Reply

        Thanks for your reply, she has been using contact lenses successfully since she was fifteen and is very comfortable with them. We do get her eyes thoroughly checked every six months, including the retina. We are told that in spite of her flashes, her retina is good. However, our main worry is the possibility of various sight threatening conditions maybe a couple of decades from now.

        About the atropine drops, I was under the impression that they work only for children? She is twenty now.

        • Jim Kokkinakis 27 September 2017 at 7:45 am - Reply

          Atropine drops “only work on children”, because that is what the studies have concentrated on. There are no long term studies done on adults because myopia tends to slow down dramatically after 18. Some people though continue to progress. If the fear of progression is high with your daughter I see no down side in using the drops. Degenerative myopia can be a big problem for some people, so anything that can be offered that might help is worth considering. Outdoor activity with some sun exposure is also helpful in some cases.

          I also need to stress the contact lens story again. Failure in contact lenses is very high so every effort needs to made to keep them successful.

          More contact lens information is here.

          Even though she has been successful for years this does not mean she is doing everything in the best possible way.

          • Cathy 27 September 2017 at 8:15 pm

            Thank you for the information. Her power has been stable for about a year or so, and I suppose that is a good thing. We are thinking of getting ICL implants for her in a couple of years. What are your views on that? I’m assuming lasik will be very difficult given her high prescription.

          • Jim Kokkinakis 4 October 2017 at 6:49 am

            If you r daughter is wearing daily disposable contact lenses successfully I would not recommend ICL. It is an invasive procedure with no upside unless contact lenses fail. Complications include glaucoma and cataracts. Lasik you are correct is unlikely to be a good option.
            From the sounds of things it doesn’t sound all that bad.

    • Rosa Rivera 10 December 2017 at 11:45 am - Reply

      Im so sorry to know what she is going threw she is very young. I have myopic degeneration n thinned retina in both eyes i thought maybe ill lose vision on my left eye cause the pupil is big and as i ask. Specialiat he no in both eyes. I have gone threw 4 trials of conracts using reading glasses over it. Which a month ago i fou d out the bad news. No more high persciption for my eyes. No surgery no lazer can be done. I have been depressed badly n i understand your daughter she is young n never give up hopes she will have the strenght from u n love ones. I feel shes on time for any help. Ive been using bifocals since 4 n i thank God this spwcualist was honest. I will pray for her n for everyone who is going threw this. I will be blind no x soon. All i do is to pucture every special moment n life. But never give up.

      • Jim Kokkinakis 28 December 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

        Contact lenses can be custom made to virtually any prescription. You are possibly past the disposable prescriptions but you will not be out of the custom prescription range. I would seek the help of a contact lens specialist to fix this for you. We have a more information on custom contact lenses on our contact lens page on our main website.

  15. Samantha 24 December 2017 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Doctor, I would be grateful if you could answer a couple of my questions.

    1) Does the eye power of people with degenerative myopia ever stabilise? If so, at what age does it happen?
    2) Do people with degenerative myopia (especially those in double digits) eventually go blind by old age?

    Thank you

    • Jim Kokkinakis 28 December 2017 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      Dear Samantha
      Your two questions are very dependant on a given individual. In other words everyone is unique.
      I have a number of patients with degenerative myopia and am very happy to say that I have not seen any of them go blind in both eyes. I can remember two out of about 50 patients that have gone legally blind in one of their eyes later in life. Even though this is significant these people do still function well. More about myopia can be found on our main website.

  16. Doris Dmitrovski 8 January 2018 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Hello, i have a 4-old son, who has been diagnosed with degenerative myopia. In last checkup he had – 15.5 in both eyes and some mild macular degeneration. Ive been reading all kinds of information online and cant find any good information treatment ( ecxept atropin) and prognosis. Beeing so young and already having degenerative changes in macula, does it mean poorer outcome ? Would atropin slow the degeneration process or make it better?Does he has to avoid contactsoprts? He is a very lively boy and full of energy. Im so shocked and heartbroken about this. I live in another country, but i would like get some valid information about this condition and would be so greatful for Your answers.

    • Jim Kokkinakis 5 February 2018 at 6:54 am - Reply

      Hello Doris
      This type of diagnosis is very scary, especially if it is your child. Degenerative myopia is a genetic condition and probably has very little environmental input. Normal myopia on the other hand has significant environmental input.
      To try and answer your question specifically though will be impossible as I am sure that atropine studies have not been done with degenerative myopia and the number of people are not many.
      If he was my son I would do the following (even though I have no real science to support what I will say).
      1. Immediately start atropine (0.1%) once a day before going to bed.
      2. Get as much outdoor activity and vision as possible.
      3. Try and minimise digital device use and excessive reading
      4. Try and avoid contact sports as the retina can be fragile in this type of myopia and therefore be more prone to retinal detachment.
      All these things are just the normal things we say to parents with children that have progressive myopia.

  17. Emilia 12 March 2018 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Please help. I am 15 years old and have -9.25 in both eyes. I want to become a journalist but I am scared of following my passion because I may go blind eventually. I am also scared of having children in the future in case they inherit my condition, though no one in my family suffers from it. What do i do?

    • Jim Kokkinakis 15 March 2018 at 11:54 am - Reply

      Emilia I am very saddened to hear that you are living your life like this. The reality is that the chance of you going blind is absolute remote. There is a 99% chance you will live a long and productive life. Sometimes it is better to break down what is going on in small chunks to manage the situation.
      There are things you can do to slow down and even stop myopia. See my myopia information for further details.
      To summarise here though:
      1. Atropine eye drops, start using these ASAP. Where are you from? I will try and a myopia specialist for you.
      2. Consider a procedure orthokeratology.
      3. Consider myopia control soft lenses.
      4. Get as much outdoor activity as possible.
      5. Do not do unnecessary close work, especially social media and spending hours researching topics that sadden you.

      Please do not hesitate to ask any more questions.
      Best Regards
      Dr Jim Kokkinakis

  18. Lin 12 April 2018 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Hello doctor,

    Would you say it is not advisable for someone with degenerative myopia to be in careers which require long hours of computer work? I was wondering if this could cause significant vision deterioration over and above what might naturally happen due to the elongated eyes. I am a software engineer in my mid 20s.

    Thank you so much

    • Jim Kokkinakis 20 April 2018 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      I assume your name is Adam. This is a difficult prediction to make, especially when one is in the mid 20’s already. Long hours in front of the computer screen is certainly a risk factor.

      Rather than change careers I would consider the following:
      1. Get as much outdoor activity as possible.
      2. Use a lower strength spectacle power specifically for computer use.
      3. Consider atropine eye drops (0.01%), which have been shown to slow down the progression of myopia.
      4. Consider 20/20/20, to reduce eye strain which means to stand up from your chair every 20 minutes, look into the distance for 20 seconds and blink 20 times.

      It is likely that now that you are in your mid 20’s the myopia will also slow down anyway. What is your current power. Note the links above are to our main web site where we talk about these issues in more detail.
      Jim Kokkinakis

  19. Sean Cooper Ceroni 22 April 2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Hello Doctor, I have some questions regarding pathological myopia and I would appreciate any input you may have.
    1. Does pathological myopia always start in early childhood?
    2. Can simple myopia develop into pathological myopia?
    3. Can early adult-onset myopia develop into pathological myopia?
    Thank you for your time.

    • Jim Kokkinakis 6 June 2018 at 9:51 am - Reply

      Hi Sean
      Answers to your questions:

      1. Does pathological myopia always start in early childhood?
      JK)Yes it will normally start before puberty.
      2. Can simple myopia develop into pathological myopia?
      JK) Unlikely
      3. Can early adult-onset myopia develop into pathological myopia?
      JK) Virtually never, pathological myopia typically starts very early.

  20. Vishnu 13 May 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Hi. I am 29 years old. from my childhood i was using high power lenses. Also i have done keratoplasty in my right eye at 25. It is due to an inflammation in eye due to the use of contact lenses.At the age of 27 it was -18.0 in my left eye and -19.5 in right and i have done ICL on both eyes. But 3 months after the ICL i was affected by Myopic CNVM and taken 1 dose Accentrix and 1 dose Avastin in left eye.
    It is more than 1 year now. I regularly go to my doctor and after examining my eye and taking the OCT he is saying that I am ok now. But i am experiencing a lot of problems. Like Sensitivity to sunlight, seeing my blind spot so often, green circle when i blink at light, halos in street light and car head lights, a wavy central vision. Every day i got up from the bed praying that please don’t make it worse. I share this problems with my retina doctor and my cornea specialist. They said it is usual. Also i asked if there is anything i should do, like medicines, surgery to make sure that this problems wont occur in future, But they said that there is nothing much to do.
    Now, me and my family is worried how long it will go on like this. I am working in software field. Daily i am using the computer for 9 Hours. I am not in a position to think about a career change right now, at least for 4 years. This stress also making a lot of problems in my life
    Please advice a solution for me. I want to make sure that CNVM or Detachment wont occur in future. I am ready to do anything. Also Gym workout will increase this condition?

    • Jim Kokkinakis 22 August 2018 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      Dear Vishnu
      I am really sad to hear about the stress in your life due to your eyes. Unfortunately the high level of myopia makes your retina thin and fragile.
      You must try and avoid any trauma to the eyes and of course you need to see your eye doctors immediately if you experience anything unusual.
      Getting more sun and outdoor activity has been shown to slow down myopia, so I would recommend as much outdoor activity as is possible.
      More information on myopia can be found:

  21. Mandy 16 September 2018 at 12:36 am - Reply

    I started wearing glasses at age 8, contacts at age 13. I got very short sighted, very quickly going from -2 at age 8 to -8 at age 13. My vision continued to degrade in my teens and early twenties before stabilising at -12. I am now aged 45 and have just seen a specialist ophthalmologist and heard of degenerative myopia for the first time in my life.
    I was in a road traffic accident six years ago in which I suffered a traumatic brain injury. I have had vision loss and occasional blurry vision in my left eye since then. I had told several neurologists this but was ignored. My vision in my left eye went down to -13 almost immediately after the accident..but after it went down again earlier this year to -14, my optometrist sent me to the specialist ophthalmologists at the hospital. The first two said my eye was fine, but this third one has said I have degenerative myopia and that it is consistent with my reports of my vision going blurry every now and then for hours to days despite having my eyes checked & prescription updated annually. He is now comparing two sets of eye scans taken two months apart to see what is going on in my eye. He says the sees the retina thinning and lacquer cracks.
    I have since researched what I can about the condition and learned that I probably should have been diagnosed with this decades ago. I also see that we are at higher risk of retinal damage and so are supposed to avoid various sports and such.

    Questions: In the case of a head injury like mine do you think it could be causing the coming and going of blurred vision in my left eye? If so, do you think it is something that will get worse or stay the same? Is a vision loss of -1.00D every five years usual at my age?

    • Jim Kokkinakis 29 October 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

      Dear Mandy
      This is a scary process that you find yourself in. Is the vision changing at the same rate in both eyes? Whether you have degenerative myopia or not is not something for you to focus on. Having a traumatic injury can definitely influence the change of vision over time. It is important for you to concentrate on what you can do to maximise the chance of a great result:
      1. Regular eye checks by a retinal specialist
      2. Be aware of your peripheral vision in case you develop a retinal detachment. This can be fixed, especially if found early.
      3. Have regular eye pressure and computerised visual fields done to rule out glaucoma. This can be treated if found early.
      4. Regularly check each eye individually with a test called an Amsler grid. This will pick up any change to lacquer cracks, which in turn can lead to new vessels growth. These also can be treated with anti VEGF medication, again by a retinal specialist.
      I suggest you have two exams done every year, covering the above issues. Your retinal specialist will tell you the most efficient way to monitor all these things.

    • Jim Kokkinakis 18 July 2019 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Mandy
      Sorry for the very late reply. After a traumatic injury it is possible to start developing cataracts, which can change your prescription in this way. I would also get your peripheral retina checked out as a retinal tear could also have occurred.

  22. Andy 10 November 2020 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Dear Doctor,

    I have read through all your replies for all patients. I have to say I am so grateful to find you. I thought I was a lone in this world.


    I am diagnosed with Degenerative Myopia. 1 year ago, I had symptoms such as bloated feeling in my eyes and seeing halos around lights, I was so freaked out because those were Glaucoma symptoms. *And ever since I was a kid, opticians have been telling me my IOP was a bit elevatede, but I continued to ignore* Anyways, I went to my first ophthalmologist, he took a look at my eyes and ran OCT and ran Visual Field Defect ; he diagnosed me with Mild-Stage OAG . I was depressed for the entire year among with taking Rocklatan (Glaucoma Eye Drops) thinking I had Glaucoma and I will go blind.


    In recent months, I had second opinions with different opthalmologists. They did the same test, and told me currently I shouldn’t be diagnosed with Glaucoma, but degenerative myopia. However, I am in high risk for retinal detachment, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Doctor, I do have blind spots all over my central vision, does this mean I currently AM diagnosed correctly with degenerative myopia? In addition, I went to 23AndMe to ran DNA analysis, I was found a variant in my “ARSM2” gene, which was suppose to increase likelihood for Macular Degeneration.


    From this description, what do i Have? and will I go blind? How’s progression on regenerative cures such as stem cell? I heard Harvard genetics is working on coding an agent to regenerate ganglion cells on retina.

    Will current treatment of Atropine and 7-Mexthyl work for me?

    Sorry for so many questions . I thank you I thank you once again.

    • Jim Kokkinakis 11 February 2021 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      Dear Andy
      I understand the distress this can cause. Firstly forget about 23ANDMe, this has no relevance to you. Secondly without seeing digital images and OCT scans of your retina, any comment I might make would be probably incorrect. Myopia occurs because of excessive elongation of the eyeball. Atropine has been shown to slow this or even stop it, so this is worth discussing with our eye practitioner. At the moment stem cells is many years away, dont worry about that option. Where are you located and how old are you?

  23. Sara 17 April 2021 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Hi Doctor, Do you think that the emerging treatments for dry and wet ARMD will be helpful for people with pathological myopia too? Such as port delivery system, drugs that treat the complement pathway, or stem cells (I know those are way into the future…)? Thanks.

    • Jim Kokkinakis 6 May 2021 at 10:49 am - Reply

      I definitely think there will be treatments for pathological myopia. The best treatment though is not to let it get there to begin with by recommending and elivering myopia control treatments to young children. Pathological myopia begins often before the age of 10 years.

      If on the other hand you are over 30 then you have to wait for these more sophisticated procedures to develop, which they will.

  24. Adrienne 18 April 2021 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Dear Dr Kokkinakis

    Thank you for the care and concern you show to people writing to this forum. I can imagine the attention and consideration to pay to your own patients.

    Would you be able to recommend a optometrist or opthamologist practicing in Canberra or the Canberra region ? My current optometrist is quite old school, and I am expecting him to retire soon on account of his age. I would definitely be consulting with you if I were not a single parent of school aged children.

    I am hoping to find a physician who is willing to listen and discuss patient conditions and treatment options with patience and understanding. Someone which an approach like yours. I have a very bad reaction to dilation drops, which many optometrist do not seem to understand or appreciate. Thanks in advance.

  25. olivia 28 April 2021 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Hello Doctor,
    I am 19 years old. i am diagnosed with peripheral lattice degeneration in my right eye recently.though it has affected a very small part of my retina.i am mild myopic. my LE is -2.25 and RE is -2.75. my concern is my eyepower is still increasing. if it doesn’t get stable and keep increasing will my retina will be affected too? will my lattice degeneration will become worse with time? or will it be stable after my eyesight become stable? i am really worried about it as i am an software engineering student and i have to work on computer 8 hours a day.

    • Jim Kokkinakis 6 May 2021 at 10:35 am - Reply

      You are a perfect candidate for myopia control treatment. See here for more information:
      Depending on where you live some of these treatments might not be available.
      Lattice degeneration is fairly common with myopic prescriptions. Feel free to ask more questions once you have read the myopia treatments.

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