Myopia in childhood
The most common signs that your child is suffering from myopia are squinting, eye strain, headaches, and tiredness. They may have to sit too close to the television or it’s been noticed that their school work is suffering.
When your child has been diagnosed with myopia, also known as short- or near-sightedness, the first step is usually to correct their blurred distance vision with glasses or contact lenses. Myopia is a progressive condition, so your child’s vision is likely to worsen over time.
Research has indicated that there are several modalities for slowing down the progression of myopia. These include special spectacle lenses, contact lenses (hard and soft) and special eyedrops (low dose atropine).
What are low-dose atropine eye drops for myopia?
Atropine is a prescription medication that works by dilating by the pupil and temporarily paralysing the eye’s ability to change focus.
The concentration of atropine eye drops can vary from 0.01% up to 1%, but the higher the concentration, the more risk of side effects.
Side effects of stronger atropine concentrations
The side effects of this treatment can include:
- sensitivity to light due to dilated pupils
- difficulties with near vision
In numerous clinical studies, though, a low dose of atropine has been found to slow down the progression of myopia, with minimal side effects.
Newer studies are focused on investigating the optimal formulation for slowing down the progression of childhood myopia.
How are atropine eye drops administered?
Atropine eye drops are usually used once daily before bedtime. There can be some side effects such as mild stinging and sensitivity reaction. You will probably not notice a difference immediately as it is a gradual treatment, but myopia will continue to progress if the therapy is discontinued.
For more advice on low-dose atropine for children, call 0115 924 9924 to arrange a consultation with Mr Imran Jawaid.