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HomeminewsDrops May Delay Myopia in Children

Drops May Delay Myopia in Children

A study of non-myopic children has concluded that nightly eye drops with 0.05% atropine may delay or prevent the onset of myopia, at least temporarily.

The study, published recently in JAMA,1 sought to discover if the use of low concentration atropine eyedrops affected the incidence of myopia in children.

While low-dose atropine eye drops are currently being used to slow myopia progression, Dr Jason Yam, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and colleagues set out to determine if the medication could also defer the onset of myopia.

The randomised clinical trial included 474 children aged four to nine years without myopia. They were required to use 0.05% atropine, 0.01% atropine, and placebo eyedrops nightly.

It resulted in a two-year cumulative incidence of myopia of 28.4%, 45.9%, and 53.0%, respectively, with the study authors describing the difference between 0.05% atropine and placebo as “statistically significant”.

The prevalence of myopia, which is expected to affect half the people worldwide by 2050, has risen rapidly over the past few decades. Researchers also pointed out that the early onset of myopia is associated with high myopia later in life, and myopia is irreversible once developed.

Further research is needed to replicate the findings, to understand whether this represents a delay or prevention of myopia

Study Results

According to the study, 0.05% atropine eyedrops resulted in a significantly lower incidence of myopia at two years compared with placebo.

The primary outcomes were the two-year cumulative incidence rate of myopia (cycloplegic spherical equivalent of at least −0.50 D in either eye) and the percentage of participants with fast myopic shift (spherical equivalent myopic shift of at least 1.00 D).

Photophobia was the most common adverse event and was reported by 12.9% of participants in the 0.05% atropine group, 18.9% in the 0.01% atropine group, and 12.2% in the placebo group in the second year.

“There was no significant difference between 0.01% atropine and placebo,” the researchers concluded. “Further research is needed to replicate the findings, to understand whether this represents a delay or prevention of myopia, and to assess longer-term safety.”

Reference

  1. Yam, J.C., Zhang, X.J., Zhang, Y., et al., Effect of Low-Concentration Atropine Eyedrops vs Placebo on Myopia Incidence in Children: The LAMP2 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. Published February 13, 2023. doi: 10.1001/jama.2002.24162.