Atropine use in childhood myopia treatment

Acta Ophthalmologica, 08/10/2012

Grzybowki A – The atropine use in childhood myopia treatment remains controversial and possible benefits and weaknesses of the therapy should be carefully analysed.

Methods

  • The analysis of the literature and studies of the subject.

Results

  • The prevelance of myopia the population in the United States, Europe and Australia is about 30–40%, whreaes in some southern Asian countries is up to 80–90%.
  • Moreover, it was shown that this prevalence has been increasing in the recent 20 years.
  • Although the pathogenesis of myopia is unknown, it is argued that, at least in the case of school myopia, environmental factors are of major imprtance, whrease genetic factors play secondary role.
  • The role of atropine in the lowering the rate of myopia progression was analysed in recent 10 years in many studies, differing with the atropine concentration, studied group characteristics, the time of treatment and the the time of observation, etc.
  • The lowering effect of atropine was proved, however, its effectiveness decreased with the time of drug use, and after the drug discontuinuation the effect was partially reversed.
  • On the other hand, it is well–known that atropine use is related to significant side–effects, including mydriasis, cycloplegia, increased exposure to UV light.
  • Moreover, some argue that results of the therapy, i.e. lowering of the magnitude of school myopia, cannot be be balanced by the problems and unknown longterm effects related to the therapy.

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