What is Atropine eye drops and how it’s used in the eye care field?
Atropine sulfate eye drops is used to dilating the pupil before eye exams. It’s also used to treat eye conditions such as Amblyopia (lazy eyes) and now Myopia (nearsightedness). This medicine works by blocking the chemical acetylcholine, which relaxes the ciliary muscle of the eye and causes the pupil to dilate. For medical use, Atropine occurs naturally in some poisonous plants; and it’s refined and concentrated. The FDA has approved low-doze Atropine eye drops for Myopia control therapy.
Low-Dose Atropine for Kids with Myopia
A promising treatment for childhood near-sightedness (myopia) is welcome news at a time when more and more children are being diagnosed with Myopia. The effectiveness of a low dose (0.01 percent concentration) on childhood myopia was discovered almost accidently by researchers in Singapore who were studying side effects of larger doses. A control group given the very low dose had less progression of myopia.
Optometrists and Ophthalmologists aren’t certain why a tiny bit of atropine seems to hold back myopia, but the hypothesis is that it binds to certain growth receptors in the eyes, blocking stimulation that prompts the condition.
Word is getting out among eye care providers about this treatment, especially as many countries, including the United States, are seeing skyrocketing childhood myopia rates. The largest increases are in Asian countries, but the phenomenon is global.
In the U.S., 40 percent of kids have myopia today, compared with 20 percent just 30 years ago. In many Asian countries, up to 90 percent of kids are myopic.
While there’s a clear genetic link for myopia, and it runs in families, the recent surge isn’t completely understood. Several studies suggest that the way kids play now is a culprit.
Research shows that kids who are exposed to less outdoor daylight in early childhood are more likely to become myopic. The hypothesis is that kids today are getting less exposure to natural light, spending more indoor time with computers, TVs and smartphones. More study is needed, says Dr. K. David Epley, MD, who has been following the research by the Singaporean team of childhood myopia experts.
How to Get this Medicine
In USA, you can expert to see the following Brand Name of this medicine at your local pharmacy stores:
- Atropine Care
- Isopto Atropine
This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription. See your eye doctor for details or schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss Myopia control treatment options including Atropine eye drops. Call us at 407-292-9812!
Here are some additional information about Myopia treatments and related topics:
How Atropine Eye Drops Can Slow Myopia Progression (myopiainstitute.com)
Atropine Sulfate (Ophthalmic Route) Side Effects – Mayo Clinic
Low-Dose Atropine for Kids with Myopia – American Academy of Ophthalmology (aao.org)