Low Concentration Atropine for Myopia Control

What is Low Concentration Atropine?

Low concentration atropine is an eye drop found to prevent myopia progression. Atropine drops are applied once a day and normal correction (glasses or contact lenses) is worn throughout the day. Atropine 1% is the common concentration and is an FDA approved drop used clinically for dilation. For myopia control, a much lower dose will be used (ranging from 0.01% to 0.1%) and will not cause dilation. Atropine has a very low risk of side effects and is safe for use in children.

Who is a good candidate?

Low dose atropine is an excellent alternative for patients who are not yet ready to be in contact lenses. This includes young children with myopia or children who are very afraid of touching their eyes. It can also be added to other myopia control treatment options if progression is still occurring with one of the other treatment options.

How effective is atropine in slowing down myopia progression?

Low dose atropine has been found to be very effective in slowing down myopia progression with a reduction of 30-50%. Effectiveness is the same as orthokeratology and multifocal soft lenses, which are the other methods of myopia control.

How often are follow ups if my child is on Atropine treatment?

After prescribing the drops, the first follow up will be in 2 weeks to ensure that the drops are being handled well by your child. After that, follow ups will be every 6 months to check for myopia progression. This makes sure the drops are effective.

What is axial length measurement and why is it important?

Axial length is the length of the eyeball. In myopia, the length of the eye increases which can cause later complications such as glaucoma and retinal detachment. In myopia control, our goal is to keep the length of the eye the same. By taking axial length measurements, we are able to determine whether treatment is working. This measurement is a more precise measurement than the prescription changing.

Benefits of Atropine:

One of the main benefits of Atropine over other methods of myopia control is that it is more suitable for younger children. The recommended age to begin treatment for Myopia is as young as 6 years old. In many cases the maturity required to care for Ortho-K contacts is at a much later age. The drawbacks of Atropine, is that it still requires day time contacts or glasses, which is one of the added benefits of Ortho-K. For more information about Ortho-K for myopia control, click here

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


1. What are the side effects of Low Concentration Atropine use?

Side effects of low concentration Atropine are very minimal due to the low dosage. With any drop, allergy and allergic red eye can occur, but studies show that it is rare. With higher dose Atropine, sun sensitivity, dilation, and difficulty seeing up close are side effects, but these are not seen in studies when lower doses are used.

2. Do I have to continue to wear glasses?

Yes, the drops do not change the prescription so normal glasses wear is needed. Contact lenses can be worn as well, but it is recommended to wait 10 minutes after instilling drops.

3. Can I combine Atropine with other myopia treatments (such as orthokeratology or multifocal contact lenses)?

Yes, but it is recommended to start one treatment first to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. After 6 months have passed, a second treatment can be added to increase effectiveness. Studies have shown that atropine and orthokeratology is additive in terms of effectiveness. 

4. If I want to discontinue Atropine and start orthokeratology is that ok?

Yes, this is definitely something that can be done. Before discontinuing the drops, we recommend having completed the orthokeratology fitting. Our doctors will evaluate every 6 months to ensure that the new orthokeratology treatment is effective.

5. Can I discontinue my Atropine treatment at any point?

It is possible to discontinue Atropine treatment at any time if the treatment is not effective or is not well tolerated by the patient. However, it is very important to discuss this with your optometrist before doing so. A new myopia control treatment plan needs to be set before discontinuing any drops. The drops are only effective when used. If the drops are discontinued, myopia will continue to progress. For most patients with myopia, progression does not stop until after college.

6. Is Atropine for Myopia Control FDA Approved?

Currently all treatment options for myopia control are what is called “off label”. This means that the method is approved by the FDA, but not for the specific task at hand. It is not as uncommon as one may think, with a recent study showing that 78.9% of children discharged from pediatric hospitals were taking one “off label” medication.

Eyecon Optometry

📞 818-345-2010

📠 818-345-2070

 info@eyeconsee.com

📌 7217 Reseda Blvd.,

     Reseda, CA 91335

Mission Hills

📞    818-361-4020

 Missionhills@eyeconsee.com

📌 15336 Devonshire st., Suite 4, 

        Mission Hills, CA 91345

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