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Atropine Therapy For Myopia Management

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one of the most common eye conditions affecting millions of people around the world. Most patients with this condition wear eyeglasses or contacts to correct their vision, but there is a relatively new option known as atropine therapy that has been shown to help patients with myopia.

If you have myopia and are looking for a better way to manage it, contact Mississauga Vision Centre and Brampton Vision Centre for a consultation. Let us help you experience clearer, sharper vision and a better quality of life.

What Is Myopia?

teen girl smiling brunette contacts ortho k 640px

Myopia, the most common vision problem across the world, occurs when the eyeball grows long. When the distance between the lens and retina is too long, the images come into focus before reaching the retina. This results in blurred distance vision when looking at something at a distance, such as street signs, people walking down a street, or a TV or movie screen.

However, images that are closer to the person can be seen more clearly. People with myopia can experience eye strain, eye fatigue, or headaches. This is because of the natural inclination to squint or strain the eyes in an effort to see images in the distance clearly.

Nearly 1 in 10 children (9.2%) between the ages of 5 and 17 have myopia. This is especially challenging during the school-age years, since the ability to read, write, see the board, do homework and participate in extracurricular activities all become important parts of a child’s routine.

Common Treatments For Myopia

The typical methods for managing myopia are eyeglasses and contact lenses. Prescription glasses and contacts correct refractive errors by directing light to focus on the retina, mimicking the natural eye process. In certain cases, procedures such as LASIK or PRK may be performed to correct vision surgically.

In recent years, atropine therapy has been shown to significantly improve vision in myopia patients by slowing down its progression. Doctors like our team of eye doctors now offer atropine therapy as an option for those with nearsightedness, including children as young as age 5.

What Is Atropine Therapy?

Atropine drops are medicated prescription eye drops containing an antimuscarinic agent, which widens (dilates) the pupil, relaxing the eye muscles. In low doses, it has been shown to slow down the development of myopia.

How Does Atropine Therapy Work?

Atropine drops are administered in the eye in the conjunctival sac. This is the area behind the lower eyelid that allows for movement of the eyeball and eyelids. Atropine drops dilate the pupil, which temporarily stops the eye from focusing and allows this function to relax.

Typically, atropine drops involves just 1 drop in each eye, but exact instructions for your specific case will be given by our team of eye doctors and the helpful staff at Mississauga Vision Centre and Brampton Vision Centre.

Atropine therapy may be performed daily either by itself or together with Ortho-K or multifocal contact lenses. Contact lenses cannot be worn while the drops are applied. Doctors advise to wait at least 15 minutes before putting contacts back in the eyes.

Atropine Therapy For Children

Studies have shown that atropine therapy can significantly improve myopia progression in children. A 2006 study found that 400 children aged 6-12 who received atropine experienced significantly less myopia progression. A second study in 2012 with lower doses of atropine showed similar results. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 90% of children who have atropine therapy show signs of reduced myopia progression.

According to our team of eye doctors, young children should be administered atropine drops before going to sleep. This increases the likelihood of effective results as the child is more relaxed in sleep. Many parents find that an easy solution is to make it a part of their children’s nightly bedtime rituals.

Does Atropine Therapy Hurt?

Atropine therapy is a painless process, the drops might sting a little for a few minutes, as it simply involves administering medicated eye drops to the patient. As the drops are administered to the eyes, try to avoid excessive blinking so that they are absorbed properly for the most effective results.

How Quickly Will I Notice Results?

Atropine therapy can take up to 6 months to show a significant impact. Doctors usually recommend checkups twice a year to ensure that the patient is experiencing no adverse side effects and that atropine therapy is effectively slowing down myopia development.

Does Atropine Therapy Cure Myopia?

Atropine therapy is shown to slow down and control the progression of myopia, but it is not a cure, nor does it reverse the condition. The goal of atropine therapy is to stop the condition from getting worse and prevent it from causing other, more serious eye diseases.

It’s important to note that should you stop atropine therapy, your case of myopia may resume its progression as it did prior to treatment.

How You Can Help Achieve Successful Atropine Therapy Results

girl grinning glasses 640If you or a loved has myopia and receives atropine therapy, there are some things you can to help achieve the best results possible.

Keep wearing glasses or contacts

Patients usually need to keep wearing glasses even with a low dosage treatment of atropine drops. The level of their myopia typically does not progress further as much as it can without atropine therapy.

Spend more time outdoors

Research shows that a healthy amount of Vitamin D from natural sunlight has positive health benefits. It’s believed that UV rays, in limited amounts, may be able to alter the shape of the cornea.

Side Effects of Atropine Therapy

The majority of patients who receive atropine therapy experience little to no side effects. Some patients may feel a light stinging sensation, blurriness, or sensitivity to light, but these symptoms disappear quickly. Approximately 1% of patients have reported feeling itchy or experiencing some redness around the eye area.

To schedule a consultation with our team of eye doctors and to find out if atropine therapy is right for you, contact our practice today. Our experienced staff at Mississauga Vision Centre and Brampton Vision Centre will consider your total health needs, ensuring that you get the right treatment for effective management of your nearsightedness.

Our practice serves patients from Mississauga & Brampton, Vaughan, Oakville, and Toronto, Ontario and surrounding communities.
Schedule An Appointment
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Soft Multifocal Lenses For Myopia Management

Myopia is an eye condition that causes the eye to elongate from early childhood into the late teen years. This elongation causes the light to fall in front of the retina rather than on the retina itself, causing far-away objects to appear blurred. Regular glasses or contact lenses correct for poor visual acuity but do nothing to address the elongation of the eye itself.

What many parents don’t realize is that myopia can be dangerous. If your child’s myopia increases each year, the higher the chance that your child will develop sight-threatening conditions like macular degeneration, retinal detachment and glaucoma in the future. At Mississauga Vision Centre and Brampton Vision Centre, we use soft multifocal contact lenses as part of our myopia management program, which can slow or even stop the progression of your child’s myopia.

What Are Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses?

Soft multifocal contact lenses feature three prescriptions in a single lens: one for near distance, one for intermediate distance and one for far distance. These lenses are made of breathable and flexible plastics that allow air to pass through the lens to the cornea for a healthy, comfortable fit, making them suitable for older children and teens. Soft multifocal contact lenses are FDA approved for children 8 years of age and above. Even children with various levels of astigmatism can achieve successful results in managing their myopia with soft multifocal contact lenses.

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How Do Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses Slow Myopia Progression?

These contact lenses are worn during the day so your child will see clearly all day without the hindrance of glasses. In addition to correcting distance vision, the design of these lenses has been precisely calculated to allow a child to achieve clear vision for all distances. They allow the light rays entering the eyes from the side of your vision to focus in front of the retina rather than directly onto it. This has been shown to provide subtle feedback to the brain to halt the elongation of the eye, This, in turn, slows or stops myopia from advancing. Children who wear soft multifocal contact lenses usually find that their prescription will no longer rapidly worsen.

We Offer Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses and Other Myopia Treatments

At your first consultation, our team of eye doctors will assess the extent of your child’s myopia, including corneal shape and refractive error. After this assessment, our team of eye doctors will recommend the best myopia management treatment options. During this process, patients and parents are encouraged to ask any questions they may have.

Should you choose to proceed with soft multifocal contact lenses, our team of eye doctors will determine the exact prescription adjustments required and carefully fit the contact lenses to ensure that they sit correctly and comfortably on your child’s eyes. Your child will immediately be able to see clearly. Over time, your child’s myopia progression will slow or even cease, drastically mitigating the long-term risks to their vision.

If you have a child with myopia, or if it’s simply time for your child’s annual checkup, call us today to schedule an appointment with our team of eye doctors and learn more about our myopia management program.

Our practice serves patients from Mississauga & Brampton, Vaughan, Oakville, and Toronto, Ontario and surrounding communities.


Schedule An Appointment
Call Our Locations

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How Can Orthokeratology Help

How Can Orthokeratology Help With Myopia Management?

Is your child wearing glasses or contact lenses for myopia? Is their optical prescription continually worsening every 12 to 18 months? If so, it may be time for a myopia management program featuring ortho-k contact lenses.


Orthokeratology, or “ortho-k,” is an overnight process of vision correction that leaves your child free of daytime eyewear. Along with the convenience of not having to wear glasses or contacts during the day, ortho-k has been shown to slow down or even stop the progression of a child’s myopia. An additional — yet compelling — benefit is the reduced risk of developing serious ocular conditions and diseases later in life, such as macular degeneration and retinal detachment.

If your child has myopia, speak with our team of eye doctors regarding the benefits of wearing ortho-k lenses for myopia management.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is an extremely prevalent eye condition that begins in childhood and usually continues to worsen during the teenage years. Myopia results when the eye shape becomes more elongated as a child grows. This causes light from distant objects to focus in front of, rather than precisely on the retina, causing blurred and distorted vision.

The continual eyeball elongation causes the optical prescription to worsen over the years, generally into the mid-to-late teens.

While glasses or regular contact lenses correct distorted vision, they don’t address the underlying problem, and thus are unable to prevent your child’s prescription from increasing into young-adulthood. Orthokeratology, on the other hand, addresses the root cause of myopia and can halt its progression.

Understanding Orthokeratology

teen smiling 6 640Orthokeratology goes by a few names:

  • Ortho-k
  • CRT (Corneal Reshaping Therapy)
  • Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVT or GVST)
  • Vision Shaping Treatment (VST)
  • Corneal Molding

Regardless of the name used, ortho-k is an established non-surgical method of vision correction that has been safely used for over 20 years. We will carefully measure the child’s eye and order custom-fitted and specially-designed rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses.

The ortho-k lenses are to be worn overnight, during which time they gently correct the shape of the cornea. The lenses are then removed in the morning, leaving your child with crisp and clear vision all day long. As mentioned above, ortho-k not only corrects vision but can also slow —or even halt — the progression of myopia in children.

Who Can Benefit From Orthokeratology?

Both children and adults can benefit from the vision correction provided by ortho-k, though ortho-k may be the ideal solution for myopia management in children. While it is too late to slow the progression of myopia in adulthood, myopic children who wear ortho-k lenses can further benefit by lowering any risks associated with ocular diseases later in life.

What Is The Fitting Process For Ortho-k Lenses?

At Mississauga Vision Centre and Brampton Vision Centre, our patients undergo a full ortho-k assessment before being fitted for these lenses. We will evaluate the health of your child’s eye and determine the exact corrective prescription. To measure the precise curvature of the child’s cornea, our team of eye doctors will use a topographer, ensuring these customized lenses are a perfect fit.

After the initial fitting, patients will be provided with detailed instructions and in-clinic training on how to insert, remove, and care for their ortho-k contact lenses. A few periodic check-ups will help ascertain any changes in refraction and corneal topography, and adjustments to the lenses will be made accordingly.

Ortho-K Is An Investment For Lifelong Healthy Vision

By giving your child the gift of ortho-k lenses, you will improve your child’s daytime vision while also significantly reducing their risk of developing serious eye diseases later in life. The myopia management program at Mississauga Vision Centre and Brampton Vision Centre offers the best chance of controlling myopia and preserving your child’s eyes for a lifetime of clear, comfortable, and healthy vision.

Mississauga Vision Centre and Brampton Vision Centre serves patients from Mississauga & Brampton, Vaughan, Oakville, Toronto, and throughout Ontario.


Schedule An Appointment
Call Our Locations