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Br J Ophthalmol 86:1306-1311 doi:10.1136/bjo.86.11.1306
  • Perspective

Myopia: attempts to arrest progression

  1. S M Saw1,2,3,4,
  2. G Gazzard3,4,5,
  3. K-G Au Eong2,3,
  4. D T H Tan3,4,6
  1. 1Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, National University of Singapore, 16 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597, Republic of Singapore
  2. 2The Eye Institute, National Healthcare Group, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433, Republic of Singapore
  3. 3Singapore Eye Research Institute, 5th Level, SNEC, 11 Third Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168751, Republic of Singapore
  4. 4Singapore National Eye Centre, 11 Third Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168751, Republic of Singapore
  5. 5The Institute of Ophthalmology, 11–43 Bath Street, London EC1V 9EL, UK
  6. 6Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260, Republic of Singapore
  1. Dr Seang-Mei Saw, Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, National University of Singapore, 16 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597, Republic of Singapore; cofsawsm{at}nus.edu.sg
  • Accepted 26 June 2002

Abstract

Previous studies have evaluated the efficacy of several interventions to decrease the progression of myopia. These include devices that alter the perception of the visual environment and pharmacological treatments. There is no conclusive evidence thus far that alteration of the pattern of spectacle wear, bifocals, ocular hypotensives, or contact lenses retards the progression of myopia. Several randomised clinical trials have demonstrated that the rate of progression of myopia is lower in children given atropine eye drops than those given placebo. However, atropine is associated with short term side effects such as photophobia and possible long term adverse events including light induced retinal damage and cataract formation. Other more selective antimuscarinic agents such as pirenzipine are presently being evaluated. Further well conducted randomised clinical trials with large sample sizes and adequate follow up designed to evaluate treatments to retard the progression of myopia should be conducted, since the identification of an effective intervention may have a greater public health impact on the burden and morbidity from myopia than the few treatments currently available.

Footnotes