Diluted Atropine Drops for Myopia Control
In general, atropine drops enable your eye doctor to examine your eyes more thoroughly and easily. These safe dilating eye drops contain medicine that enlarges your pupil, thereby providing a clear view of your inner eye tissues.
Atropine eye drops have been around for ages and used safely by eye doctors to treat lazy eye (as an alternative treatment to eye patching). Recent studies have tested the use of diluted atropine drops for myopia control. When low doses with a concentration of only .01% were applied to myopic children’s eyes, their myopia progression over a five-year span slowed down by a whopping 50%! In addition, no side effects were reported.
The idea behind using atropine drops for myopia control is that nearsightedness in children may be connected to focusing fatigue. The atropine drops work to stop the eye's from focusing which in turn can control myopia.
This treatment is very appropriate for kids who are too young to begin wearing multifocal contact lenses or ortho-k lenses. Keep in mind that very young children who have myopia are at the highest risk of developing severe myopia. Therefore, it is ideal for them – and the long-term health of their eyes – to begin a myopia control program as early as possible.
Research on Diluted Atropine Drops & Myopia Control is Ongoing
The exact mechanism of how atropine works to slow myopia remains largely unknown. At present, additional studies are being conducted in Japan and in Europe to uncover more answers.
To find out if your child is a candidate for myopia control with diluted atropine drops, ortho-k lenses, or soft multifocal lenses, book an eye exam with our experienced eye doctor in Washington, DC.