Myopia is a common condition that occurs between the ages of six and 12. In this condition, near objects can be seen clearly, but distant objects are blurred. A discovery made by researchers at Ohio State University showed that common eye drops are a safe and effective way to slow the progression of myopia in children.
The phase 3 clinical study was conducted on 489 participants who had myopia between the ages of three and 16. Participants were divided into three groups: placebo treatment, treatment with 0.01% atropine drops, and treatment with 0.02% atropine drops. The trial lasted three years and included measurements of the participants’ eye growth and requirements for their eyeglass prescriptions.
After applying one drop to the eye before bedtime, the researchers found that compared to placebo, atropine was more effective in slowing the progression of myopia. They found that while the 0.02% drug was still better than placebo, the 0.01% formulation produced inconsistent results. The researchers found that both low-dose atropine preparations were well tolerated and safe.
The discovery may provide an easier way to treat myopia, which is expected to affect about 50% of the world’s population by 2050 and may lead to visual impairment later in life. Early-onset myopia is associated with complications later in life, such as myopic yellow spot degeneration, retinal detachment, cataracts and glaucoma.