Lots of people seem to need glasses these days. That’s because nearsightedness, or myopia, is becoming increasingly prevalent around the world. More than 40 percent of Americans are nearsighted, up from just 25 percent in the 1970s. In developed Asian countries, that rate is even higher with nearly 90 percent of children developing myopia.
Glasses and contacts offer a corrective solution, but don’t actually stop or slow vision’s decline. But medicated eye drops may do just that.
In a five-year clinical trial conducted in Singapore, drops of a drug called atropine seemed to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. Intriguingly, researchers found that a lower dose of the drug was more effective than higher dosages, in addition to risking fewer side effects. The research was presented Nov. 16 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Las Vegas and will appear in the February 2016 edition of the journal Ophthalmology.