Atropine For Myopia Management in Hartsdale
What Is Atropine Therapy?
Atropine drops are medicated prescription eye drops containing an antimuscarinic agent, which widens (dilates) the pupil, relaxing the eye muscles. In low doses, it has been shown to slow down the development of myopia.
How Does Atropine Therapy Work?
Atropine drops are administered in the eye in the conjunctival sac. This is the area behind the lower eyelid that allows for movement of the eyeball and eyelids. Atropine drops dilate the pupil, which temporarily stops the eye from focusing and allows this function to relax.
Typically, atropine drops involves just 1 drop in each eye, but exact instructions for your specific case will be given by Dr. Arlene Schwartz and the helpful staff at Hartsdale Family Eyecare.
Atropine therapy may be performed daily either by itself or together with Ortho-K or multifocal contact lenses. Contact lenses cannot be worn while the drops are applied. Doctors advise to wait at least 15 minutes before putting contacts back in the eyes.
Atropine Therapy For Children
Studies have shown that atropine therapy can significantly improve myopia progression in children. A 2006 study found that 400 children aged 6-12 who received atropine experienced significantly less myopia progression. A second study in 2012 with lower doses of atropine showed similar results. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 90% of children who have atropine therapy show signs of reduced myopia progression.
According to Dr. Arlene Schwartz, young children should be administered atropine drops before going to sleep. This increases the likelihood of effective results as the child is more relaxed in sleep. Many parents find that an easy solution is to make it a part of their children’s nightly bedtime rituals.
Research & Evidence Behind Atropine Eye Drops
Recent studies have shown a significant slow down of progression of myopia with low doses, such as .01% Atropine eye drops instilled at bedtime.
The five year trial which can be found here shows a reduction of myopia progression with low dose Atropine by an astonishing 50%.
The significance of these findings are numerous.
- Atropine can be used in conjunction with other forms of Myopia Management.
- Atropine has a long history with no known risks.
- Atropine is the best option for children who have myopia but are too young to begin with other treatments such as soft multifocal contact lenses or Orthokeratology.
- Atropine has less rebound prescription change.
- Atropine when used in ultra low doses starting at .01% have no significant side effects.
Atropine is a widely used eye drop with over 100 years of usage by eye doctors even in those as young as 1 years old. One of the benefits of Atropine is that it is considered the best solution for younger children.
Now that you understand what Atropine is and why it is effective For Myopia Management, Let Us Look At Who Is The Ideal Patient.
Atropine is ideal for young children for whom other methods of myopia management may not be a suitable fit. It is extremely important to begin a myopia management program for young children with Myopia as they have the highest risk of developing high myopia.
Certain ethnic groups are at higher risk of developing myopia, for example people of Asian decent have the greatest chance of developing myopia. In some Asian countries Myopia rates in children are as high as 90%.
Long Term Benefits
The main reason for starting a myopia management treatment is that myopia as it progresses increases the risks of having many different eye diseases as the person ages. For example a person with high myopia will be at 10 times greater risk of retinal detachment.