Myopia Control

Myopia Control – Nearsighted Treatment

Myopia, commonly called near-sightedness, is the most common human eye disorder in the world, affecting 25% and 50% of adults in the US, and between 85% to 90% of young adults in some Asian countries such as Singapore and Taiwan. We are concerned about increasing rates of myopia because it causes an increased risk for myopic maculopathy (similar to macular degeneration), retinal detachment, cataracts, and glaucoma…any of which can cause impaired vision or blindness.

Children today spend more time indoors and looking at screens, which has led to increasing rates of myopia. Physicians are responding and researching ways to reduce myopia. The physicians at Kids Eye Care of Maryland played an integral role in the development of a nationwide Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG) study to reduce myopia.

Our approach first involves lifestyle changes, including:

  • 2 hours outside daily
  • Take a break after 20-30 minutes of screen time and reading
  • Good lighting, preferably near a sunny window is important for any near work (reading, screen time, crafts)

Atropine Myopia Treatment

When more intervention is needed, we will use Dilute Atropine 0.01%. Although the exact mechanism of atropine in myopia control is not known, it is believed that atropine acts directly or indirectly on the retina or scleral, inhibiting thinning or stretching of the scleral, and thereby eye growth.

  • No clinically significant visual side effects
  • 50% reduction in myopia progression over 2 years
  • Younger children (ages 6-8) likely need over 2 years of treatment
  • Low incidence of light sensitivity and blurring at near
  • No bifocals needed
  • Off-label use (although dilute atropine has been well-studied, an FDA study and approval has not been done)
  • Insurance may not cover

Atropine Sources

Any compounding pharmacy may be used though we are familiar with these:

Shady Grove Pharmacy
15225 Shady Grove Rd #101
Rockville, MD 20850
The Compounding Center
36-C Catoctin Circle, SE
Leesburg, VA 20175

For more information: Myopia Consensus Statement – World Society of Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus