Limiting the progression of childhood myopia
Myopia (nearsightedness) is a condition that is associated with blurred vision at distance. Increasing amounts of myopia is associated with an increased risk of sight-threatening eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, myopic maculopathy, retinal holes, retinal tear and retinal detachments. Your doctor has prescribed an intervention to help limit the progression of your child’s nearsightedness.
The use of atropine in slowing down the progression of myopia was first reported in the 19th century. The effectiveness of atropine for myopia control is higher than any other form of treatment currently available. Then why has the use of Atropine not become widespread from myopia progression? The answer is the side effects of the medication. The commercially available concentration for atropine is 1.0%. At this concentration, this medication causes blurred near vision, pupil dilation, and significant light sensitivity. It has also been known to cause systemic side effects in rare instances which include but are not limited to increased heart rate, flushing of the skin, dry mouth and confusion.
In 2016, the American Academy of Ophthalmology published an article on myopia control with 0.01% atropine in comparison to 0.5% and 0.1% atropine. The study was a randomized, double-masked clinical trial with 400 children receiving one drop of either 0.01%, 0.1% or 0.5% atropine. Over a period of 5 years, the study concluded that 0.01% atropine was more effective in slowing myopia progression with less visual side effects in comparison with higher doses of atropine.
For more information or any questions regarding therapy, please do not hesitate to contact us.