Adults who dispense eye drops daily to correct a childs "lazy eye" take note: a new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center and 29 other centers across North America finds that giving the drops just twice during the weekend is just as effective as administering them every day of the week.
In what is believed to be the first clinical trial comparing treatment regimens of atropine sulfate eye drops for the treatment of amblyopia, the investigators concluded that "there is no obvious advantage to the daily administration of atropine eye drops in either the speed of improvement or in the magnitude of improvement after four months of treatment," according to Michael Repka, M.D., the lead author of the study and a pediatric ophthalmologist at the Childrens Center. These findings are published by the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG) in the November issue of Ophthalmology.
In the study, 168 children up to 7 years old with moderate amblyopia were randomly assigned to getting atropine eye drops either daily or on Saturday and Sunday only. After four months of treatment, children following both regimens were able to read an average of 2.3 lines higher on a standard eye chart. Additionally, 47 percent of children receiving daily drops and 53 percent getting weekend drops had vision in the amblyopic eye improve to normal levels by the four-month mark. This considerable degree of improvement is similar to that accomplished with daily eye patching, the mainstay of amblyopia treatment, the researchers note.
Jessica Collins | EurekAlert!
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