40% of myopia sufferers with more than 8 dioptres run the risk of disorders at the centre of the retina

High myopia will take up a large part of the first day of the retina conference that is to bring together 300 specialists in IMO Barcelona between tomorrow and Saturday

Sufferers of high myopia form one of the groups of most concern to retina specialists, as "40% of myopia sufferers with more than 8 dioptres run the risk of some kind of disorder in the centre of the retina, with significant vision loss," says Dr. Carlos Mateo, who is the coordinator, together with Dr. Borja Corcóstegui, of the international conference Trends in Surgical and Medical Retina, which is to bring together 300 ophthalmologists in Barcelona between tomorrow and Saturday.

Patients with high myopia, who account for around 2% of the population, are more likely to suffer certain eye diseases such as glaucoma or cataracts and, more particularly, retina-related disorders such as retinal detachment, central retinal degeneration due to atrophic plaques, vessel growth in the macular area below the retina, myopic macular hole or separation of the macular retina layers, known as schisis. "Retina diseases can cause significant visual disability and have a direct impact on the patient’s quality of life, especially those of a working age, as is often the case of people with high myopia," explains the conference coordinator.

Myopic patients with retina problems may complain of seeing wavy lines or hazy spots in their field of vision and could lose visual acuity. However, Dr. Carlos Mateo underlines the fact that, "although they have no symptoms, sufferers of high myopia require regular ophthalmological checkups to ensure the retina is not damaged, as this can often go unnoticed."

The particular likelihood of people with high myopia to suffer retina problems is due to the pathological elongation of the eyeball, which means that the retina can be affected by stretching or by the detachment of its layers, etc. Along these lines, IMO specialist is to present "macular indentation" tomorrow at the conference. This technique is able to remodel the eyeball and give it back its normal round shape, thus avoiding the repetition of retina problems in patients with high myopia.

Live surgery

As well as the presentation of this technique, the first day of the conference organised by the Institute of Ocular Microsurgery (IMO), in collaboration with the ESASO (European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology), is to include eight live surgeries from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. in four operating theatres of IMO, which can be followed on a giant screen by those present.