Myopia (also known as nearsightedness) is growing increasingly common among kids today. Unfortunately, childhood cases of myopia tend to get progressively more severe as the child gets older. Without treatment, a relatively mild case of myopia in childhood could become quite severe by the time a person turns 25.
Myopia control is a treatment designed to slow down myopia progression. By controlling your child’s myopia, you can help keep it from getting significantly worse, preserving their distance vision and keeping their prescription lighter for adulthood.
Atropine Therapy For Myopia Control
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. However, the optometrists at Conestoga Eye Care will adjust the concentration dosages for each patient that will cause very minor side effects for the treatment to prosper. A consultation is required with our optometrist to determine if your child is a candidate and to find the proper concentration dosage needed for this treatment.
Atropine is the best option for children who have myopia but are too young to begin with other treatments such as Orthokeratology or multifocal contact lenses.
The biggest advantage that atropine has over contact lens correction is its ease of administration and can be used in younger patients who are unable to insert or remove contacts. Atropine can be prescribed in conjunction with the optical methods.