The causes of pediatric myopia are still a mystery. While genetic factors likely play a role, the transition from outdoor activity with visual focus at ever-changing distances to close vision activities seems to be contributor. And there is growing evidence that atropine can slow progression.
Reviewed by Stacy Pineles, MD
Do you have a pediatric patient with myopia who is progressing rapidly? Low dose atropine may help slow progression. The literature is still small and developing, but Level I evidence suggests that atropine may slow or stop myopic progression. Side effects and rebound can be minimized by using low doses, especially 0.01%
“Myopia is becoming an epidemic as kids are becoming more and more nearsighted at a younger age than they used to,” said Stacy Pineles, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology at the Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.
“Not only does it mean more kids need glasses earlier in life, but myopia can lead to more serious eye diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy,” she added.
Dr. Pineles reviewed the latest data on the use of atropine to slow or stop progression of childhood myopia. She is the lead author of an AAO Ophthalmic Technology Assessment report published last year.
Stacy Pineless, MD
Dr. Pineles did not indicate any proprietary interest in the subject matter