Myopic Macular Degeneration
Myopic macular degeneration is a type of macular degeneration that occurs in people with severe myopia.
Myopia is commonly known as short-sightedness; a myopic eye has a larger or longer shaped eyeball.
Very high myopia is thought to result from abnormal and progressive stretching and elongation of the eyeball. This can start in childhood, leading to the need for strong corrective lenses even at a young age.
In those people with very high myopia and very elongated eyes, the walls of the eyeball have become highly stretched. All the layers that make up the eyeball wall become very thin. This abnormal and progressive thinning of the layers of the eyeball is called pathological myopia.
The abnormal stretching is thought to be responsible for making the myopic eye more prone to developing a variety of sight-threatening problems such as glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration.
In pathological myopia, the retina and other layers at the back of the eye become so thin that the cells in the retina can die slowly. This leads to atrophy and a slow decline in central vision. This condition is sometimes called myopic atrophy or degeneration, secondary to pathological myopia. This can lead to a central visual reduction starting at an earlier age.
The thinning in the back of the eye can also cause cracks in the deeper layers under the retina leading to further atrophy, or even bleeding in the centre of the macula.