January 30, 2021
Myopia or nearsightedness is a refractive error due to changes in the structure of your eye. It develops when your cornea is too curved or your eyeball is too long, causing light that enters into your eye not to focus correctly. Instead of focusing directly on the retina, light entering your eyes focuses in front of it. This makes distant objects appear blurry. Sadly, myopia is an irreversible, progressive condition.
The good news is there are several ways to control myopia and keep the refraction error level as low as possible. The use of atropine eye drops, for example, is effective for myopia management.
Recent research suggests that you can control myopia by slowing down or stopping its progression before adulthood. Myopia generally gets worse over time until the eye has fully developed, around the age of 20. By taking steps to manage the condition, you can reduce your child’s risk of developing sight-threatening conditions later in life. Myopia has been linked to eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment.
Atropine is a molecule that can be derived from some toxic plants. For medicinal purposes, the atropine is refined and concentrated. The drug is already used for eye care like pupil dilation and lazy eye treatment. But more recent studies reveal that a low-dose of atropine can also significantly delay the progression of myopia in kids. It’s currently the only type of medication discovered to show efficacy in delaying myopia progression. Research shows that atropine eye drops can potentially slow it down by about 80 percent.
Atropine comes in different concentrations — ranging from 0.01 percent to one percent. Recent studies show that lower atropine doses can be just as effective with fewer adverse effects. The lowest atropine concentration is 0.01 percent. It’s been reported to be the ideal starting point for myopia management. This is because it’s been shown to cause the least potential side effects to the eye.
Atropine eye drops are generally administered once in the evening. You have to use this medicine as prescribed by your eye doctor. Strictly follow their instructions.
If you’re using contact lenses, take them out before using the atropine eye drops. Use this medicine for your eye only. Ensure that you don’t forget to wash your hands properly before and after use. Never allow the container tip to touch your eye, eyelid, or surrounding skin. Just tilt your head back and carefully drop the drug into your eye. Once done, keep your eyes closed while putting some pressure on the corner of the eye. Close your eyes for a minute or two to keep the drug in your eye. Many patients observe that the results are noticeable about a few weeks after initial use.
Aside from the use of atropine eye drops, your child’s eye doctor may also recommend eyeglasses, contact lenses, or corneal refractive therapy. It’s best to start myopia management immediately to get optimal results. High myopia is a significant cause of visual impairment that cannot be corrected. As mentioned, myopia generally gets worse through childhood and adolescence. It stabilizes once your child reaches adulthood. This makes the early years the best time to seek help regarding myopia control and management.
Protect your child’s eye and vision health today with the Eye Associates of New York.
Learn more about atropine eye drops for myopia management, contact Eye Associates of New York in Midtown East, NY at (212) 650-4888.