myopia the leading cause

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
Topic: myopia the leading cause
Added by Cagey, moderator

Does it mean "myopia that is the leading cause"?

Thanks in advance
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Purpose
Myopia is a common cause of vision loss, with uncorrected myopia the leading cause of distance vision impairment globally. Individual studies show variations in the prevalence of myopia and high myopia between regions and ethnic groups, and there continues to be uncertainty regarding increasing prevalence of myopia.

-AAO
Source
 
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  • NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Not exactly. More or less: "Uncorrected myopia is the leading cause...."
    "Myopia is a common cause of vision loss, with uncorrected myopia the leading cause of distance vision impairment globally" is simply one sentence.

    Is the relationship between "uncorrected myopia" and "the leading cause" parallel?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The sentence distinguishes two categories of vision loss: (a) myopia (in general) and ( b) uncorrected myopia. Obviously (b) is a sub- category of (a).

    Less obviously, even corrected myopia (when you have glasses for it) still involves vision loss, because the result is not perfect. Thus myopia in general is a common cause and within that category the leading cause is uncorrected myopia.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thus myopia in general is a common cause and within that category the leading cause is uncorrected myopia.
    It confirms my understanding: the relationship between "uncorrected myopia" and "the leading cause" is parallel there.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The sentence distinguishes two categories of vision loss: (a) myopia (in general) and ( b) uncorrected myopia. Obviously (b) is a sub- category of (a).

    Less obviously, even corrected myopia (when you have glasses for it) still involves vision loss, because the result is not perfect. Thus myopia in general is a common cause and within that category the leading cause is uncorrected myopia.
    The problem correcting for myopia is that your near vision is impaired while wearing glasses. So you need to remove the glasses to read.
    The sentence distinguishes two categories of vision loss: (a) myopia (in general) and ( b) uncorrected myopia. Obviously (b) is a sub- category of (a).

    Less obviously, even corrected myopia (when you have glasses for it) still involves vision loss, because the result is not perfect. Thus myopia in general is a common cause and within that category the leading cause is uncorrected myopia.
    It confirms my understanding: the relationship between "uncorrected myopia" and "the leading cause" is parallel there.
    I would still say that myopia is not a cause of vision loss; it is the name for a type of vision loss.

    The sentence should have read:

    Myopia is a common cause type of vision loss, with uncorrected myopia the leading cause of distance vision impairment globally. Individual studies show variations in the prevalence of myopia and high myopia between regions and ethnic groups, and there continues to be uncertainty regarding increasing prevalence of myopia.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Myopia is a common cause of vision loss, with uncorrected myopia the leading cause of distance vision impairment globally.
    If we insert one word does it help? "Myopia is a common cause of vision loss, with uncorrected myopia being the leading cause of distance vision impairment globally." I don't understand what you mean by 'parallel' - 'uncorrected myopia' is the subject of 'being'.

    Whether or not the text is factually accurate seems to me to be rather beside the point. As it happens, myopia is a fairly common cause of vision loss, but that doesn't seem to be particularly relevant to this text which seems to be discussing impaired visual acuity.

    EDIT
    Correction - I had a quick look at the source. It does deal with blindness caused by myopia. This introductory sentence is wholly accurate.
     
    Last edited:

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The problem correcting for myopia is that your near vision is impaired while wearing glasses. So you need to remove the glasses to read.



    I would still say that myopia is not a cause of vision loss; it is the name for a type of vision loss.

    The sentence should have read:

    Myopia is a common cause type of vision loss, with uncorrected myopia the leading cause of distance vision impairment globally. Individual studies show variations in the prevalence of myopia and high myopia between regions and ethnic groups, and there continues to be uncertainty regarding increasing prevalence of myopia.
    So "the leading cause" is also referring to "the leading type"?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    So "the leading cause" is also referring to "the leading type"?
    No. Read the article. Myopia is not a type of vision loss. Myopia can cause vision loss.

    However, this is a language forum, not a medical forum, so you can expect to see posts that are factually inaccurate.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    If we insert one word does it help? "Myopia is a common cause of vision loss, with uncorrected myopia being the leading cause of distance vision impairment globally." I don't understand what you mean by 'parallel' - 'uncorrected myopia' is the subject of 'being'.
    It is crystal clear! It helps!
     

    Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I think the differences here are caused by differing views of "what is myopia"?

    1. Myopia is a technical term for nearsightedness: This is how I usually read it, and likely what the popular view of the word is.

    2. Myopia is the term for a condition (a refractive error), and this condition results in nearsightedness. This might be a more specialized medical definition. But keep in mind - I have myopia. When I don't wear glasses, I am nearsighted. When I wear glasses, I can see perfectly, but I still have myopia (the condition).

    I think both terms are acceptable, it's just that they are more common with different groups.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    No. Read the article. Myopia is not a type of vision loss. Myopia can cause vision loss.

    However, this is a language forum, not a medical forum, so you can expect to see posts that are factually inaccurate.
    Like Packard, I can see (despite my own myopia :D) what the article says, but I agree with his contention that the statement is wrong both logically and factually. To refer to myopia as a cause of vision loss is like saying that baldness is a cause (rather than an effect) of hair loss, or to speak of deafness as a cause of hearing loss.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Packard, (and GreenWhiteBlue) I've spent over 30 years in the practice of medicine, with many of those years being involved in the intimate details of visual function in military aircrew. I also happen to be myopic and to have suffered from two conditions which are associated with myopia and which can cause loss of vision. Myopia is not loss of vision. You might find, Packard, if you make just a small effort to read the dictionary page that you linked to, that nowhere in that entry does it say that myopia is loss of vision.

    The research paper that is linked in the OP mentions a number of complications of myopia which result in a loss of vision (as opposed to impaired acuity due to refractive error). Those are condition caused by myopia, making myopia a common cause of loss of vision. Nearsightedness is impaired visual acuity, not a loss of vision. A loss of vision is going blind.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Here are two extracts from the article:
    In 2010, it was estimated that uncorrected refractive error was the most common cause of distance vision impairment, affecting 108 million persons, and the second most common cause of blindness globally.
    However, myopia brings further vision challenges because high myopia increases the risk of pathologic ocular changes such as cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic macular degeneration, all of which can cause irreversible vision loss.
    These extracts show that myopia is seen as causing various forms of vision impairment, up to and including blindness. It seems 'refractive error' is treated as a synonym of myopia. It does not seem unreasonable to say that that causes vision loss. At the least, 'vision loss' is not a synonym of 'refractive error'.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Packard, (and GreenWhiteBlue) I've spent over 30 years in the practice of medicine, with many of those years being involved in the intimate details of visual function in military aircrew. I also happen to be myopic and to have suffered from two conditions which are associated with myopia and which can cause loss of vision. Myopia is not loss of vision. You might find, Packard, if you make just a small effort to read the dictionary page that you linked to, that nowhere in that entry does it say that myopia is loss of vision.

    The research paper that is linked in the OP mentions a number of complications of myopia which result in a loss of vision (as opposed to impaired acuity due to refractive error). Those are condition caused by myopia, making myopia a common cause of loss of vision. Nearsightedness is impaired visual acuity, not a loss of vision. A loss of vision is going blind.
    So you're saying that myopia can cause blindness?

    I had myopia. I now have that lens replaced with a man made lens. So not replacing the lens could have led to blindness?

    I had hyperopia in my other eye. That lens has now been replaced also. Did the hyperopia put my vision at risk too? Did replacing the lens end that risk?
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The research paper that is linked in the OP mentions a number of complications of myopia which result in a loss of vision (as opposed to impaired acuity due to refractive error). Those are condition caused by myopia, making myopia a common cause of loss of vision. Nearsightedness is impaired visual acuity, not a loss of vision.
    Except that "myopia" and "near-sightedness" mean exactly the same thing. Myopia is nothing more, and nothing less, than the scientific name for the state of being near-sighted -- that is, having impaired acuity in seeing distant objects because of refractive error.

    Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common type of refractive error where close objects appear clearly, but distant objects appear blurry.
    Facts About Myopia | National Eye Institute

    Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common vision condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry.
    Nearsightedness - Mayo Clinic

    The article is perhaps less than accurate in referring to "vision loss" rather than "distance vision impairment", which it also uses to refer to the condition being discussed. However, it is not correct to say that myopia "causes" distance vision impairment, because by definition, near-sightedness (or myopia) is the state of having distance vision impairment; the words mean the same thing. It is not logical to say that nearsightedness causes distance vision impairment, or that myopia causes myopia
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Except that "myopia" and "near-sightedness" mean exactly the same thing. Myopia is nothing more, and nothing less, than the scientific name for the state of being near-sighted -- that is, having impaired acuity in seeing distant objects because of refractive error.

    Facts About Myopia | National Eye Institute

    Nearsightedness - Mayo Clinic

    The article is perhaps less than accurate in referring to "vision loss" rather than "distance vision impairment", which it also uses to refer to the condition being discussed. However, it is not correct to say that myopia "causes" distance vision impairment, because by definition, near-sightedness (or myopia) is the state of having distance vision impairment; the words mean the same thing. It is not logical to say that nearsightedness causes distance vision impairment, or that myopia causes myopia
    I think he is saying that being near sighted can cause other eye problems. I would not be in a position to comment on the accuracy of that position.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Except that "myopia" and "near-sightedness" mean exactly the same thing.
    No. They are partial synonyms. Myopia is a condition in which there is structural abnormality of the eye - the lens, the eyeball, or both - resulting in nearsightedness. It is those structural abnormalities which make high myopia a cause of blindness. The paper cited in the OP was written by ophthalmologists and optometrists, and was presented at a meeting of a reputable ophthalmological organisation, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which has a history going back to the late 19th century. One could reasonably expect its members to know what 'myopia' is.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I had eye surgery shortly before this thread was created and yesterday I went back to see the eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) for my final check-up (all good). I took that opportunity to ask him about this subject.

    I did not take notes but I think the following is fairly accurate, and it is accurate in the main conclusions, per the descriptions given to me by the doctor.

    I said, "I've heard it said that myopia can be the cause of vision loss or even blindness." I asked him if that was an accurate statement. He thought for a few seconds and replied, "Well...I would not phrase it like that, but I've heard others--even those in the medical field phrase it like that."

    "Most cases of myopia can be corrected with correction lenses and it is rare that glasses will not correct myopia. Myopia is caused by an elongation of the eye causing the image to focus short of the retina. The elongation of the eye is the cause of the myopia.

    "In severe cases the elongation is enough to damage the retina or damage it sufficiently to cause partial or total vision loss. So I would say that the underlying cause of myopia is the elongation of the eye. And that same underlying cause can also cause vision loss. If I were lazy or talking to someone who might not follow this description I might say, 'vision loss is sometimes associated with myopia', I would not, however say that 'myopia is potentially the cause of vision loss'."

    So I think it is safe to say that "myopia" is a description of a type of vision loss, but is not the cause of vision loss. But the same underlying cause of myopia is potentially the cause of vision loss.

    Note: The doctor said that some myopia is caused by the inability of the lens to focus over a normal range. I don't know when elongation or the failure of the lens to focus over a normal range is at fault.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Topic: myopia the leading cause
    Added by Cagey, moderator

    Does it mean "myopia that is the leading cause"?

    Thanks in advance
    ********************
    Purpose
    Myopia is a common cause of vision loss, with uncorrected myopia the leading cause of distance vision impairment globally. Individual studies show variations in the prevalence of myopia and high myopia between regions and ethnic groups, and there continues to be uncertainty regarding increasing prevalence of myopia.

    -AAO
    Source
    No. The phrase "with uncorrected myopia the leading cause of disance vision impairment" means, in effect, "with the leading cause of distance vsion impairment being uncorrected myopia".

    From the context, we can tell that "with uncorrected myopia the leading cause of distance vision impairment" means "since/because uncorrected myopia is the leading cause of distance vision impairment", but the same construction can also mean "when/whereas ..." or "while/despite the fact that ..." rather than "since/because ...". Note that each of these has both a temporal meaning and a logical-connection meaning.

    (Frankly speaking, I find this statement dangerously unclear. Different understandings of it may lead to avoidance of reading, useless "exercise" regimens, or unnecessary surgery. Does "impairment" mean something like difficulty, or something more like worsening?)
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    There are two statements in the OP sentence. One refers to visual impairment, the other to loss of vision. They are separate issues.

    The article (as opposed to the topic sentence) repeatedly describes myopia as a cause of loss of vision, in addition to being a cause of visual impairment. The authors are a mix of ophthalmogists and optometrists, working from reputable specialist centres. They presented their paper to a distinguished professional body which, although American, has an international reputation. That one American ophthalmologist cavils slightly over the use of a word is neither here nor there. The word 'myopia' may be used to refer to the symptom or the condition causing that symptom. It is used to mean the condition, as the paper linked by NewAmerica makes clear.
     
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