Calling time on myopia

A UK trial of 0.01% atropine to limit myopic progression in children could be an important step in addressing the increasing prevalence of short-sightedness internationally

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The increasing prevalence of myopia globally has been labelled by some as an “epidemic.”

Luckily, scientists are working on several innovative developments that have the potential to turn back this tide of short-sightedness.

MiSight, orthokeratology and even spectacles to slow myopic progression have the potential to bring the horizons of a generation of children into focus.

An exciting trial taking place on UK shores aims to recruit 289 children between the ages of six and 12 to test the effectiveness and safety of 0.01% atropine in managing myopia.

OT has spoken with Queen’s University Belfast professor Augusto Azuara-Blanco for the latest information on the study, which is funded by the National Institute of Health Research.  

Professor Azuara-Blanco said that atropine eye drops may be something that could potentially be prescribed for myopia in the future.

If this happens, he believes that atropine should be offered within the community rather than in secondary care.

“I think optometrists are in the best position to handle myopia interventions. I don’t think this needs to be managed by ophthalmologists if low dose atropine works well and is safe, as we expect,” Professor Azuara-Blanco shared.

The OT team will of course keep our readers up to date as the trial progresses. As always, we are on the lookout for new technology and scientific solutions: please get in touch if you have a story that might be of interest. 

Image credit: Getty/Dimitris66

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