What Happens If Myopia Is Untreated?

May 19, 2023
What Happens If Myopia Is Untreated?

Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error that affects a significant portion of the population. While it can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery, some individuals choose to leave their myopia untreated. But what happens if myopia is left unaddressed? Are there potential consequences of untreated myopia? From worsening vision and increased dependency on corrective lenses to an elevated risk of eye diseases such as glaucoma and retinal detachment, it is crucial to understand the implications of ignoring myopia. Let’s talk about untreated myopia and shed light on the importance of timely intervention.

Why Is It So Important To Treat Myopia?

Progression of Myopia
Untreated myopia tends to worsen over time. When you have myopia, distant objects appear blurry while close-up objects are clear. The eye's elongated shape or the cornea's excessive curvature causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. As myopia progresses, the elongation of the eyeball continues, leading to a higher degree of nearsightedness. This means that without intervention, you may require stronger corrective lenses to achieve clear vision, leading to increased reliance on glasses or contact lenses.

Increased Dependence on Corrective Lenses
With untreated myopia, the reliance on corrective lenses becomes more pronounced. As the condition worsens, you may need to constantly upgrade your prescription glasses or contact lenses to maintain adequate vision. The need for frequent changes in prescription can be not only financially burdensome but also a hassle in terms of time and convenience. Moreover, the constant use of corrective lenses may cause discomfort or eye strain, further affecting your visual comfort.

Impaired Performance in Daily Activities
Untreated myopia can significantly impact your daily life. Without proper vision correction, tasks such as reading, driving, and recognizing people's faces from a distance can become increasingly difficult. Struggling to perform these activities can lead to frustration, reduced productivity, and even compromise your safety. Untreated myopia can affect academic performance in children and teenagers, as clear vision is essential for effective learning.

Increased Risk of Eye Diseases:
Another concern with untreated myopia is the heightened risk of developing certain eye conditions. Severe myopia is associated with an increased likelihood of eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment. These conditions can have severe consequences, including vision loss or even blindness. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help detect and manage these potential risks, making timely intervention critical for preserving long-term eye health.

Psychological and Social Impact:
Untreated myopia can have psychological and social implications as well. Struggling with blurred vision can lead to feelings of self-consciousness, reduced self-esteem, and even social isolation. Inability to fully participate in activities or engage in hobbies due to poor vision can limit your overall quality of life. Addressing myopia through proper treatment can not only improve your visual acuity but also enhance your overall well-being and confidence.

To learn more about myopia diagnosis and treatment, read
True Or False? The Facts About Myopia.


EffectIve Myopia Treatment At My Optometrist

While it may be tempting to ignore or postpone addressing myopia, the consequences of leaving it untreated can be significant. From worsening vision and increased reliance on corrective lenses to an elevated risk of eye diseases and potential psychological impact, untreated myopia can have far-reaching effects on various aspects of your life. It is essential to prioritize your eye health and consult with your eye doctor for appropriate management options. Whether you choose to wear glasses or contact lenses, or explore refractive surgery, taking timely action can help preserve your vision, enhance your daily experiences, and safeguard your long-term eye health. Don't wait—seek professional advice and give your eyes the care they deserve.

Early diagnosis and myopia management are critical to maintaining vision and eye health. We use state-of-the-art equipment for assessments and treatment, and prioritize patient education. To book an eye exam with one of our eye doctors, contact My Optometrist at one of our three locations at Health First in SE Calgary, Sunridge in NE Calgary, or Three Hills, AB. You can also call us or fill out the online contact form.


Q: Does myopia worsen with age?
A: It can. Because myopia is the eye growing too long, it depends whether the eye keeps growing or if it stops. If the eye grows longer, the myopia gets worse.

Q: Can myopia lead to blindness?
A: In general myopia does not cause blindness, however, there is a rare type of myopia called degenerative myopia that can lead to eventual blindness. This type of myopia typically only presents in about 2% of the population.

Q: How do I know if my child has myopia?
A: You might notice your child getting quite close when they need to see something. The only way to know for sure is to take them for a vision assessment. You can schedule an eye exam with My Optometrist by filling out the contact form or by calling one of our locations: Sunridge in the NE, Sundance in the SE, or Three Hills AB.

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