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Low-dose atropine has a potential treatment to slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness), particularly in children. Atropine is a medication that dilates the pupil and temporarily paralyzes the eye’s focusing mechanism. While higher concentrations of atropine have long been used for various eye conditions, low-dose atropine has gained attention for its potential myopia control benefits with fewer side effects.
Here’s how low-dose atropine is typically used in myopia control:

Prescription and Concentration:

Low-dose atropine refers to concentrations much lower than traditionally used for dilation purposes. Common concentrations for myopia control range from 0.01% to 0.05%. The choice of concentration is often determined by the eye care professional based on individual factors.

Usage Schedule:

Typically, low-dose atropine is prescribed for nightly use, with the child or individual applying one drop to each eye before bedtime. The nighttime application helps minimize potential side effects during waking hours.

Regular Monitoring:

Regular eye examinations are crucial to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment and any potential side effects. Adjustments to the atropine concentration may be made based on the individual’s response.

Duration of Treatment:

The duration of low-dose atropine treatment for myopia control can vary. Some studies suggest that it may be continued for several years during the period of active eye growth, such as childhood and adolescence.

Combination Therapies:

In some cases, eye care professionals may recommend a combination of low-dose atropine with other myopia control strategies, such as orthokeratology (Ortho-K) or specific types of multifocal or bifocal eyeglasses.

As with any medical treatment, the decision to use low-dose atropine for myopia control should be made in consultation with an eye care professional who can assess the individual’s specific needs, monitor progress, and address any potential side effects.

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