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Atropine eye drops to decrease myopic (nearsighted) progress

 
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amother




Taupe


Post  Mon, Mar 27 2017, 2:12 pm
Has anyone used Atropine eye drops to decrease myopic (near sighted) progression in children.

My child's eye dr has suggested starting this because of his high prescription at a young age that is climbing quickly.
It must be taken every day for 2 years to have results. And missing more often then 1 per month will make it not worth it.

I was curious if anyone used the drops and\or saw a stop in the progression of the child's nearsightedness during use? Or did research on the topic and chose not to use the drops.

Thank you
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amother




Orchid


Post  Mon, Mar 27 2017, 10:10 pm
I will be starting my son on Atropine drops next week.

I have only heard of its use in the application I will be using it for, which is as an alternative to patching the eye. As I understand, Atropine dilates the eye making vision somewhat fuzzy. In my child's case, I will put the drops in his "good" eye, so it will force the eye that is turning in to now work harder to focus and develop the vision in that eye.

You don't mention how old your child is, but I do know that the brain/eye connection develops only until age 7 or 8 and after that cannot be developed any longer. Refractive lenses can address the shape of the eye, but cannot change the way the brain processes images. To repeat how it was explained to me, the brain sees images as let's say a 5 megapixel image as opposed to 5 million megapixels which is how a healthy developing eye would see.

So if you do have questions or concerns, I would encourage you to seek out another opinion asap as there is a relatively small window of opportunity when the brain develops.
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amother




Taupe


Post  Mon, Mar 27 2017, 10:46 pm
Thank you. Its a very low dose (not commercially available, need to get from compounding pharmacy) that does not dilate the eye or cause the side effects associated with a higher dose.
It is only meant to prevent worsening, not to lessen preexisting myopia.
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amother




Pink


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 12:33 am
amother wrote:
I will be starting my son on Atropine drops next week.

I have only heard of its use in the application I will be using it for, which is as an alternative to patching the eye. As I understand, Atropine dilates the eye making vision somewhat fuzzy. In my child's case, I will put the drops in his "good" eye, so it will force the eye that is turning in to now work harder to focus and develop the vision in that eye.

You don't mention how old your child is, but I do know that the brain/eye connection develops only until age 7 or 8 and after that cannot be developed any longer. Refractive lenses can address the shape of the eye, but cannot change the way the brain processes images. To repeat how it was explained to me, the brain sees images as let's say a 5 megapixel image as opposed to 5 million megapixels which is how a healthy developing eye would see.

So if you do have questions or concerns, I would encourage you to seek out another opinion asap as there is a relatively small window of opportunity when the brain develops.


You are using atropine for a different reason. Op is taking about using atropine for myopia, or nearsightedness. It's used in growing children who's prescription is going up fast. For example, in 9 months my daughter's prescription went from -500 to-700. So we have started the drops to slow the progression of myopia. The atropine is much more diluted when used for myopia than when used for a child with lazy eye. I think fit lazy eye out is 1 or 2% while for myopia it is .001% . It is not approved for this use by the FDA and it needs to be filled by a specialty compounding pharmacy. I have a follow up appointment for my daughter next week and hopefully it helped.
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amother




Taupe


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 8:50 am
If you remember can you please update after your appt.
Did you have any hesitations before starting?

Are you in Lakewood? - I'm wondering which pharmacy I can use.
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amother




Pink


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 9:18 am
amother wrote:
If you remember can you please update after your appt.
Did you have any hesitations before starting?

Are you in Lakewood? - I'm wondering which pharmacy I can use.


I will try to remember to update. I am in Lakewood. It took some time until I found a good pharmacy. It's called Nate's pharmacy and it's located in Staten Island. 718-720-5600. I think ext.3 for compounding.While many insurances don't pay, they will try. The other pharmacies won't. Jersey Care definitely didn't cover, but my insurance does pay a percentage, but ironically my copay is more than if I just pay without it. But it counts towards deductable. Not sure if it's worth it. They will ship for additional cost. Or you can have it delivered to Brooklyn for free. Since my husband is often in Brooklyn for work, we try to arrange that.
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amother




Taupe


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 9:57 am
Thanks for the info.
I was thinking of trying Pharmacy 'r us in Lakewood because I know they are compounding pharmacy - didn't think some are more likely to bill then others. Nate's is actually on the list my dr provided.
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amother




Pink


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 11:30 am
amother wrote:
Thanks for the info.
I was thinking of trying Pharmacy 'r us in Lakewood because I know they are compounding pharmacy - didn't think some are more likely to bill then others. Nate's is actually on the list my dr provided.


A regular compounding pharmacy doesn't do it. Only very few specialty pharmacys do it. But I didn't try pharmacy's r us. Can you let me know if they do it?
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amother




Cobalt


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 2:45 pm
My ds( age 8), has similar issues. My doctor wanted me to start on Atropine as well.
Now here's my issue with it, the study of Atropine drops to decrease myopic eyes is a recent successful study in Singapore.
I'm not a racist, but children's eyes in Singapore cannot be compared to children's eyes from western countries.
Since we cannot simply sit around and wait for our children to become legally blind, I've come up with compromise.
It has been proven that teenagers that started wearing contact lenses decreased the rapidity of their nearsightedness, therefore we went on a trial for 6 months.
I've just returned from the 3 month check-up, and Baruch Hashem/ Bli Ayin Hora, his eyesight has not worsened.
I might still have to start him on Atropine, but I'm going very open minded into it.
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amother




Pink


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 3:50 pm
amother wrote:
My ds( age 8), has similar issues. My doctor wanted me to start on Atropine as well.
Now here's my issue with it, the study of Atropine drops to decrease myopic eyes is a recent successful study in Singapore.
I'm not a racist, but children's eyes in Singapore cannot be compared to children's eyes from western countries.
Since we cannot simply sit around and wait for our children to become legally blind, I've come up with compromise.
It has been proven that teenagers that started wearing contact lenses decreased the rapidity of their nearsightedness, therefore we went on a trial for 6 months.
I've just returned from the 3 month check-up, and Baruch Hashem/ Bli Ayin Hora, his eyesight has not worsened.
I might still have to start him on Atropine, but I'm going very open minded into it.


Yes, but my child is 5 and can't wear contacts. At this rate she would be legally blind before she is a preteen or sooner ch"v. The studies have not shown any side effects, so I feel I have no choice as a responsible parent.
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Stars









  


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 3:53 pm
amother wrote:
Yes, but my child is 5 and can't wear contacts. At this rate she would be legally blind before she is a preteen or sooner ch"v. The studies have not shown any side effects, so I feel I have no choice as a responsible parent.


Children can wear contacts at age five.
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amother




Taupe


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 3:58 pm
This is the study I"m looking at:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21963266

Does it really make a difference what country a person comes from?
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amother




Pink


Post  Tue, Mar 28 2017, 4:24 pm
Stars wrote:
Children can wear contacts at age five.


Technically, yes. Practically, no. Also, my Dr. feels that the drops get better results.
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amother




Cobalt


Post  Wed, Mar 29 2017, 1:38 am
Your daughter is totally capable of putting on contact lenses under 2 circumstances.
1) she has no fear to touch her eye
2) the optician has been trained to have the patience and teach young children to put them on.
I had to pay an extra fee of 100$, but the lady sat with him for an hour and a half,until he got it. Then after 2 weeks we went back for a check up and she practiced some more with him (giving helpful tips), checking if the contact lens was comfortable or if we should switch to a different brand.
All of this is for an 8 year boy in 2017. My mother already had to wear contact lenses at the age of 6 ( different issue, not myopia), 48 years ago.
So I don't buy the reasoning, that young children cannot wear contacts.

The children is Singapore have slanted eyes, while I assume, your daughter has round eyes.
So there is more direct light exposure to the eye. And no, there has been no study made in any western country, nor are doctors that are prescribing atropine putting the data together, to truly see if it is as effective as the Singapore study.
And we also don't know if there are any side effects for western eyes.
Based on this, I preferred a safer option first.
But by all means,if contacts don't work for you, take the atropine.
I would too, as you said, the risk of being legally blind in a couple of years is greater.
Just be careful, watch out if she gets headaches, or dizziness, etc.

And if anybody out there has been taking atropine for more than 2 years, let us know how it goes.
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amother




Taupe


Post  Wed, Mar 29 2017, 9:50 am
As a long time contact wearer (and now taking an extended break) I'd be nervous to put contacts in a young child eyes.
I have multiple deep scratches in my eyes - recently had a herpes infection that caused me to lose my eyesight in one eye for a month and had year long repercussions. the more drs I went to see about it the more times I was told that contacts are not healthy for the eye. I'd be hesitant to start so young.

(My DH does have an extremely high prescription and wearing contacts is much better for his vision and his prescription stays much more stable when he wears contacts so it does have its place)
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amother




Pink


Post  Wed, Mar 29 2017, 10:17 am
amother wrote:
Your daughter is totally capable of putting on contact lenses under 2 circumstances.
1) she has no fear to touch her eye
2) the optician has been trained to have the patience and teach young children to put them on.
I had to pay an extra fee of 100$, but the lady sat with him for an hour and a half,until he got it. Then after 2 weeks we went back for a check up and she practiced some more with him (giving helpful tips), checking if the contact lens was comfortable or if we should switch to a different brand.
All of this is for an 8 year boy in 2017. My mother already had to wear contact lenses at the age of 6 ( different issue, not myopia), 48 years ago.
So I don't buy the reasoning, that young children cannot wear contacts.

The children is Singapore have slanted eyes, while I assume, your daughter has round eyes.
So there is more direct light exposure to the eye. And no, there has been no study made in any western country, nor are doctors that are prescribing atropine putting the data together, to truly see if it is as effective as the Singapore study.
And we also don't know if there are any side effects for western eyes.
Based on this, I preferred a safer option first.
But by all means,if contacts don't work for you, take the atropine.
I would too, as you said, the risk of being legally blind in a couple of years is greater.
Just be careful, watch out if she gets headaches, or dizziness, etc.

And if anybody out there has been taking atropine for more than 2 years, let us know how it goes.



I guess everyone has to weigh the pros and cons, risks and benefits for themselves. For us, I saw no risks with the eye drops. At the dilution of .001% there doesn't seem to be any side effects. Lenses are not practical and come with their own serious risks of serious infection and corneal ulcers that can really do damage. While officials studies have only taken place in Asian countries, doctors (including my own) on Western countries see success in their own patients, so there is no reason to believe that it works different in Asian children. My child's opthalmologist says that their practice sees much more success with the eye drops. Also, the studies I found for contact lenses all were done on older children, the study with the youngest children started at age 7 I think.
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amother




Magenta


Post  Wed, Mar 29 2017, 10:27 am
Have you considered prism glasses instead of eye drops or contacts.
I know there are some that are not a big fan but in some cases like this it they might be the answer.
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amother




Pink


Post  Fri, Apr 21 2017, 6:48 am
Update: we went to the opthalmologist and in 3 months, using the eye drops, there has been no change in her prescription, b"h. (For reference, her prescription had increased by 200 in the previous 9 months). It seems to be working. Since she has other vision problems, we will be returning for checkups every 3 months so we will be able to keep an eye on it.
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