Atropine and Myopia Control
Using atropine eye drops has been shown in some studies to reduce progression of myopia. Our doctors spend time evaluating if your childs diagnosis might be aided by this therapy, other therapies or a combination of therapies to help manage the progression of their myopia.
Atropine is one of a class of drugs from the family solinaceae. In general, atropine lowers the activity of all muscles regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system. The muscles in the eye that control focusing (accommodation) are some of these muscles Topical atropine is used as a cycloplegic, to temporarily paralyze accommodation. It does this by paralyzing the ciliary muscles, whose action inhibits accommodation to allow accurate refraction in children.
Reading, specifically extended reading or near work has been implicated as one of the causes of myopia progression. It has been suggested that the over accommodation of the eye during extended reading or near work leads to stretching, hence lengthening of the eye which contributes to the worsening of myopia in children. There is a long history of studying the effect of paralyzing the focusing of the eye with atropine and similar durgs and applying glasses that perform the focusing for the eye as a treatment for worsening vision or nearsightedness.
Several studies have shown that atropine eye drops can reduce myopia progression by temporarily paralyzing the ifocusing muscle inside the eye. (Atropine also causes the pupil to dilate widely.) One such study is the Atropine in the Treatment of Myopia (ATOM) study, which tested 400 children aged 6 to 12 over a two-year period. For further information, visit an eye doctor and myopia specialist near you.