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The Eye Practice
The Eye Practice
Atropine eye drops can be used to treat myopia in children..

Atropine eye drops

Atropine eye drops can be used to successfully treat myopia in children.

Atropine eye drops are a mainstay in the treatment of myopia in children. Studies have shown that the eye drops can slow and in some cases stop the progression of myopia.

What is atropine?

Atropine is a prescription medicine. It comes from a naturally occurring substance found in plants from the nightshade family.

Atropine was first isolated in 1833. Indeed, for over 100 years it has been use by eye practitioners to dilate the pupil. Today the World Health Organisation include Atropine in their List of Essential Medicines.

How does atropine slow myopia?

Atropine effects the iris and the ciliary muscles that control focusing. In addition, studies indicate that atropine thickens the structure in the middle layers of the eye. This helps resist stretching and elongation that is typical in myopia.

An easy to use treatment

Parents can administer the eye drops to their children.

Using atropine eye drops

Children have atropine eye drops instilled once daily by their parent, usually at night time before sleep.

The best effect is obtained by using a very weak dilution (0.01% atropine), which is only one hundredth the concentration used in clinical practice for over 100 years.

Treatment duration can last as long as 2 years, but the duration can vary based on its effectiveness.

Will atropine eye drops always work?

A number of large-scale studies have demonstrated the success of atropine eye drops in treating myopia. Indeed, the results have been conclusive: Used once daily they significantly slowed the progress of myopia.

When used in low concentrations it can slow the progression of myopia in children by up to 60%. However, it’s worth noting that atropine eye drops do not work for everyone. Indeed, combined treatments may be needed to achieve optimum results.

Are atropine eye drops safe?

Yes, they are safe. Indeed, five years of clinical testing has shown atropine to be safe for long-term use in children.

However, there can be some very minimal side effects. These include glare as a result of slight pupil dilation, as well as mild changes in the ability to focus on near objects. On rare occasions some children report sensitivity to the eye drops and preservatives.

Learn more about myopia

Eye diseases caused by myopia

Myopia can cause eye disease like cataract, glaucoma and retinal detachment. It happens when the eye elongates, stretching delicate tissues.

  • Orthok lenses.

Ortho-K lenses

Ortho k lenses are a special kind of hard contact lens worn at night to reduce, eliminate or prevent myopia.

  • Myopia soft multifocal contact lenses.

Myopia multifocal contact lenses

Myopia multifocal contact lenses are especially designed to treat myopia in children. They can slow, halt or even reverse myopia.

  • Myopia treatment options.

Myopia treatment

Optometrists can treat myopia, or nearsightedness, effectively. Indeed, early treatment can even stop someone’s vision worsening.

  • Ortho-k contact lenses are used for myopia.

Ortho-k for myopia

Ortho-k contact lenses are used to treat myopia. Worn at night, they gently correct the shape of the eye to give clear distance vision.

  • Atropine eye drops can be used to treat myopia in children..

Atropine eye drops

Atropine eye drops can be used to successfully treat myopia in children.

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