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Myopia and glaucoma

sorting out the difference

Hsu, Chi-Hsin; Chen, Rebecca I.; Lin, Shan C.

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: March 2015 - Volume 26 - Issue 2 - p 90–95
doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000124
GLAUCOMA: Edited by Donald L. Budenz

Purpose of review The aim of the present review was to summarize the evidence implicating the association between myopia and glaucoma, the possible underlying mechanisms for this relation, and the controversies surrounding detection of glaucomatous changes in coexisting myopia.

Recent findings Numerous studies have shown that increasing categories of myopia are associated with a higher risk for optic neuropathy and glaucoma-like visual field defects. Recently, some high-resolution imaging modalities have been developed that aid further detection of the microanatomical changes of the optic nerve head and thus may provide a new insight to explain the association between myopia and glaucoma. Although the highly myopic eye usually shows many structural and functional defects that are difficult to distinguish from those caused by glaucoma, some new methods have been introduced to better differentiate between these changes.

Summary The interaction of myopia with glaucoma risk remains complex, largely because of the retinal and nerve fiber layer damage that occurs in myopia alone. Whether to treat for glaucoma relies on the suspicion level of the clinician who must consider other risk factors for vision loss. Ultimately, it is the progression of glaucoma-like findings that determines whether a myopic patient has glaucoma.

aDepartment of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA

bDepartment of Ophthalmology, Taipei Medical University Shuang Ho Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan

cCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Correspondence to Shan C. Lin, Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, Box 0730, 10 Koret Street, San Francisco, CA 94143-0730, USA. Tel: +1 415 514 0952; fax: +1 415 476 0336; e-mail:

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