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Inevitably, more children require glasses nowadays. As an ongoing debate focuses on the leading cause being excessive screentime, researchers from Ohio have found a probable answer. Clinical trials reveal that eye drops reduce nearsightedness progression in young kids. Karla Zadnik, study author and Dean from Ohio State University, says it is incredible work she has been involved in for years. A 3-year trial discovered that daily use of atropine drop, a drug known to dilate pupils, did well compared to placebo in minimizing eyeglass prescription replacement and stopping eye elongation in nearsighted children of ages ranging 5 to 10.

Progression of nearsightedness

Eye elongation progresses into nearsightedness, also referred to as myopia in children. The condition worsens once in the teenage years and then maintains in adulthood. Individuals with it will need glasses indefinitely or for life. It is accompanied by the risk of cataracts, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Lenses assist in giving better vision. They fail to prevent the continuous development of myopia or the risks mentioned.

Insights of the Study

Karla Zadnik explains why maintaining smaller eyeballs will result in no suffering of visual impairment in one’s 70s. Studies have revealed that atropine may hinder eye growth. However, no results from the findings regarding human therapy on nearsightedness. The study involved a comparison of placebo to atropine doses of 0.02 % or 0.01 % in 489 kids. They got a drop for each eye during bedtime. Contrary to the team’s expectation, the lesser dose gave significant improvement. Despite the 0.02% atropine dose minimizing myopia development compared to placebo, its results lacked consistency. Zadnik explains that 0.01% had a more substantial effect on reducing eye growth, leading to a lesser chance of glasses prescription. Zadnik explains further the importance of measuring eye growth to minimize complications for individuals in their 70s.

The doses were tested on 573 participants ranging from age 3 to 16. Some side effects noted were allergic conjunctivitis, blurred vision, light sensitivity, eye irritation, and dilated pupils. Vyluma, a biopharmaceutical company based in New Jersey, forwarded a drug application for approval by the FDA. If approved, the drug will be distributed in disposable packaging to avoid contamination.