Article by Dr Ugochukwu Eze; Consultant Ophthalmologist with public health interest
*Question*: Doctor Is it true that some persons with myopia may not need glasses with time?
*Answer* : There is something called "School Myopia". It is a form of myopia (short sight) first discovered in a child whose eyes are still developing. A form of Non-pathological myopia is also commonly referred to as physiological, or simple myopia . In non-pathologic myopia the refractive structures of the eye develop within normal limits, however the refractive power of the eye does not correlate with the size of the eye. The degree of non-pathologic myopia is usually minimal to moderate and usually begins during childhood or adolescence. This usually progresses throughout the adolescent growth period and slows or becomes stable early in the second decade.
At this point there may be no need for spectacles. This may be the group whose eyes are considered corrected by the spectacles perhaps.
Also as we grow towards the presbyopic age, (from above 36), the eye loses its ability to zoom near images in a process called accommodation. Those with normal distance vision, and hyperopes (those called long sighted for convenience purposes). This group of people will need need a reading Lens to neutralize and see near objects clearly. But myopes usually will prefer reading and doing close work and as presbyopia sets in especially if myopia is mild to moderate, they may not need spectacles to read as early as their 'normal' and hyperopic counterparts at same age. Some may never need it to read. Many myopes use spectacles for distance vision and when they want to read, they remove their glasses.
Finally, there is this other group of senior citizens who have cataract affecting their lens nucleus alone during its evolution. This usually confers a special type of myopia and such patients don't enjoy reading with their spectacles which they hitherto tolerated. They prefer reading without their glasses. This group rejoice that their vision is improving (Second sight of the aged), but eventually this advantage will be lost when the whole lens becomes involved before a successful cataract surgery.