Myopia is a growing problem among children in the country and around the world. When children become myopic (or nearsighted), their long-distance vision worsens as they grow. Fortunately, there are treatments that slow down myopic progression. Myopia management impedes myopia so that your child does not develop serious ocular conditions over time.
Myopic Management Solutions
Children with myopia have an increased risk of developing eye conditions that lead to visual impairments. The first step in myopia management is looking for ways to correct blurred vision with glasses or contact lenses. Special myopic control lenses both correct your child’s vision and prevent his or her myopic progression. These special lenses are more effective than traditional eyeglasses. Where contact lenses are not a suitable option, doctors may recommend the use of atropine eye drops.
Atropine Eye Drops for Myopia
Many eye specialists recommend the use of atropine eye drops to put myopia under control. Studies reveal that a low concentration of eye drops can slow down myopic progression. Using eye drops every night is recommended. The drops are well tolerated by kids because they do not sting. There are very few reports of mild side effects, such as light sensitivity or eye irritation. Children require periodic eye exams while using eye drops.
Choosing Atropine Concentration
Experts have researched different concentrations of atropine eye drops for myopic management. The concentration varies from 0.01 percent to one percent. Stronger concentrations show a greater likelihood of patients experiencing side effects. The side effects of a high concentration of atropine include sensitivity to light and problems with reading. These can be managed using spectacles with lenses that darken when outdoors (photochromatic) and higher power lenses.
Low Dosage Atropine
A lower dosage of atropine drops produces a minimal effect on reading vision and pupil size. These are dosages of between 0.01percent to 0.05 percent. This makes low dosage an attractive option for myopic control in children. Slowing down the growth of the eyes is the objective. Longer eyes have a higher risk of developing myopia-associated diseases and vision problems later in life.
Treating Pediatric Myopia
It is important to understand that once diagnosed, myopia is irreversible. In most cases, myopia is diagnosed between the ages of five to seven. Vision gets worse during the rapid development years but often levels off when the child is around 12 years old. Until recently, pediatric myopia’s only treatment was using lenses that are frequently updated as the vision worsens. Even after atropine eye drops are prescribed, the kids still need to wear glasses. However, myopia is worse for children who do not use eye drops.
These eye drops are often compounded or specially made by pharmacists. If your child is myopic, it is important to talk to an eye specialist about handling the condition. You need to make sure that your child can tolerate the eye drops. Consult an eye specialist about the best treatment option for your child.
Learn more about treating myopia in children with atropine eye drops, visit Korb & Associates in Boston, MA at (617) 322-0534 to book an appointment.