Retinal Changes From Hyperopia to Myopia: Not All Diopters Are Created Equal

Fabian Yii*, Miguel O. Bernabeu, Baljean Dhillon, Niall Strang, Tom MacGillivray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Purpose: To quantitatively characterize retinal changes across different quantiles of refractive error in 34,414 normal eyes of 23,064 healthy adults in the UK Biobank.

Methods: Twelve optic disc (OD), foveal and vascular parameters were derived from color fundus photographs, correcting for ocular magnification as appropriate. Quantile regression was used to test the independent associations between these parameters and spherical equivalent refraction (SER) across 34 refractive quantiles (high hyperopia to high myopia)—controlling for age, sex and corneal radius.

Results: More negative SER was nonlinearly associated with greater Euclidian (largely horizontal) OD-fovea distance, larger OD, less circular OD, more obliquely orientated OD (superior pole tilted towards the fovea), brighter fovea, lower vascular complexity, less tortuous vessels, more concave (straightened out towards the fovea) papillomacular arterial/venous arcade and wider central retinal arterioles/venules. In myopia, these parameters varied more strongly with SER as myopia increased. For example, while every standard deviation (SD) decrease in vascular complexity was associated with 0.63 D (right eye: 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.58–0.68) to 0.68 D (left eye: 95% CI, 0.63–0.73) higher myopia in the quantile corresponding to −0.60 D, it was associated with 1.61 D (right eye: 95% CI, 1.40–1.82) to 1.70 D (left eye: 95% CI, 1.56–1.84) higher myopia in the most myopic quantile. OD-fovea angle (degree of vertical separation between OD and fovea) was found to vary linearly with SER, but the magnitude was of little practical importance (less than 0.10 D variation per SD change in angle in almost all refractive quantiles) compared with the changes in OD-fovea distance.

Conclusions: Several interrelated retinal changes indicative of an increasing (nonconstant) rate of mechanical stretching are evident at the posterior pole as myopia increases. These changes also suggest that the posterior pole stretches predominantly in the temporal horizontal direction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Number of pages15
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Myopia
  • Hyperopia
  • Refractive error
  • Retina
  • Optic disc
  • Vessels
  • Fovea


Dive into the research topics of 'Retinal Changes From Hyperopia to Myopia: Not All Diopters Are Created Equal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this