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This leaflet contains some general eye information and questions and answers which you may find helpful.
Atropine Treatment for Amblyopia (Reduced vision)
Atropine drops are being used to treat your child’s amblyopia (reduced vision). Atropine blurs close-up vision in the good (better seeing) eye. This encourages the eye with poor vision to work and is intended to try and improve the vision in that eye over time. The drops will also dilate (make bigger) the pupil of the eye they have bee placed in.
Do the drops hurt?
No. Unlike other types of eye drops, atropine drops usually do not sting.
How do I put them in?
With your child lying down and looking up to the ceiling, hold the lids apart and place the drop anywhere between the lids. If the child is frightened, try giving the drop before they wake up. In some children it is necessary for one adult to hold the child while the other gives the drop. Eventually a routine will be established, and it will get easier to put the drops in. Use 1 drop of 1% Atropine in the RIGHT / LEFT* (*please delete accordingly) eye both on Saturday and Sunday. Remember to wash your hands before and after giving the drops.
What are the side effects?
Rarely, a child can develop redness and swelling around the eye, or fever, or facial flushing. If this occurs stop using the drop and contact us.
How do I store the drops?
They should be kept at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Be sure to keep them out of the reach of children. If a child ingests any atropine then contact an Accident and Emergency
department immediately. I gave a drop of atropine a week ago, and my child’s pupil is still dilated.
Is something wrong?
No. A single drop of atropine may dilate the pupil for up to a week. Although the pupil remains dilated, the blurring effect of the atropine wears off in approximately 1 week. Outdoors on a sunny day your child will be more comfortable wearing sunglasses (ensure they have UV filters in them). If your child already wears glasses, they can be coated with a clear ultraviolet filter, which will help. My child’s appointment is next week.
Should I continue using the atropine drops?
Keep using the drops right up to the day of the appointment, unless otherwise instructed by the orthoptist/doctor.
Should my child wear sunglasses, since the pupil is always dilated by the atropine?
Outdoors on a sunny day your child will be more comfortable wearing sunglasses (ensure they have UV filters in them). If your child already wears glasses, they can be coated with a clear ultraviolet filter, which will help.
How can my child function at school with the better seeing eye blurred?
The atropine blurs the good eye for near work. This forces the child to use the weaker eye for reading. Allow your child to hold the reading material close. Tell their teacher that you are using atropine drops. If the atropine seems to be interfering with school work, contact us.
How long will the atropine be used for?
Treatment may be continued for several months with regular reviews, depending on the age of the child and how poor the vision is.
Atropine and occlusion (patching)
Sometimes you will be asked to use an eye patch whilst you are using the Atropine drops to improve the vision. The orthoptist will advise you as to how much patching needs to be done. The patch is placed on the same eye as the Atropine is being used in (the good eye).
Please be careful not to get atropine in your own eye, since this will cause you to have blurred vision and a dilated pupil for up to one week.
PLEASE NOTE: If your child is admitted to hospital for any reason, you must inform the doctor/nurse that your child is using atropine eye drops in one eye because the pupil will be enlarged (dilated) and will not become smaller (constrict) when looking at a light. We hope this leaflet provides all the information you require but should you have any further questions regarding the
Atropine treatment then please telephone the Orthoptic department on 01908 995532.
For further information contact the Orthoptic Department, Eye Clinic, Milton Keynes University Hospital, Standing Way, Milton Keynes, MK6 5LD. 01908 995532.