Atropine Eye Drops
Recent studies have found that 0.01 to 0.05% atropine decreases progression of myopia by 50-87% compared to a placebo group. However, we do not know exactly how this medication works to control myopia. Some side-effects of atropine include blurred near vision, less accommodation (focusing ability at near distances), and pupil dilation resulting in light sensitivity. However, these effects are minimal for 0.01% atropine.
This method is recommended for children who are unable to wear contact lenses and is often used in conjunction with the Myovision eyeglass lenses described above. There are no long term studies on the potential negative effects of this treatment but eye doctors have been using this “off-label” for many years and have had great success.
Your Optometrist will discuss the above methods, and make recommendations depending on the lifestyle of your child, and the goals of treatment. Through our partnership with the Gimbel Eye Centre, we have access to technologies that not only monitor your child’s myopia, but also the axial length of the eye so we can truly monitor all aspects of progression.
So how often should you have your child’s eyes checked?
The Alberta Association of Optometrists recommends the first eye exam for children at six months of age, then again when the child is two years old, and every year after the age of four. Eye examinations are covered under Alberta Health Care until age 19.
For additional information, talk to one of our Optometrists at your next appointment and if you like, you can do some of your own research on the sites below:
Click on the calculator below to see how much a myopia control strategy can reduce myopic progression.