What are Atropine Eye Drops Used For?

Author: Premier Eye Associates

Atropine is a medication that comes in the form of eye drops. This medication has many uses but must be monitored carefully by an eye doctor due to the possibility of side effects.


What Does Atropine Do?

Atropine is a drop that inhibits the muscles that constrict the pupil and make it smaller. Thus, when atropine is used, the pupil will get much larger if a high dose is used.

Since atropine affects the muscle that would normally constrict the pupil, tasks that require a smaller pupil may be impacted as well.

These tasks include reading at near and restricting the amount of light into the eyes in a bright environment.

Atropine is classified as a cholinergic antagonist medication since the primary action is to inhibit the cholinergic receptors on the iris muscle.


What are the Effects of Atropine?

When using atropine, there are several effects which may be noted including a large pupil, blurred vision at near, and redness in the eye.

The primary effect of atropine is to cause a larger pupil. The dose of atropine will determine how much of a change is present.

A low dose of atropine may not affect the pupil size to the point that it is noticeable.

Blurred vision at near is a result of the inability of the eye to constrict at near to focus. Like the pupil size, this effect is highly dependent on the dose of the atropine.

Redness associated with the use of atropine is typically only seen immediately following instillation of the drop.

Like many eye drops, atropine may irritate the eye right after it is put in the eye. Often the redness will go away after a few minutes.


Uses of Atropine

Atropine has a variety of uses for eye care. It can be used for dilating eyes for an eye exam, to relieve pain with eye inflammation, to treat amblyopia, or to prevent the progression of nearsightedness in children.

With these many applications, the dose and concentration of atropine is very important to achieve the correct treatment.


Eye Dilation

If your eye doctor identifies specific risk factors, they may need to use atropine to help diagnose certain eye conditions.

Atropine can be used in children to assess the retina or if a refraction cannot be determined without dilation.


Eye Inflammation

In cases of severe eye inflammation, atropine can be used to relieve pain and break attachments from the iris to the lens.

By dilating the pupil, the iris is not able to constrict freely, and it will reduce the amount of pain associated with the condition.


Amblyopia Treatment

Amblyopia is when one or both eyes are not corrected to perfect vision. Atropine can be used in these cases to act as a way to force the amblyopia eye to be used to focus.

By building the strength of the worse seeing eye, this treatment aims to equalize the vision in both eyes.


Myopia Control

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a progressive condition that typically does not stop increasing until the late teens or twenties.

Atropine can be used to help prevent nearsightedness from progressing as much. It is used to help the eye from increasing in length.


Dr. Anthony Spina and the staff of Premier Eye Associates specialize in glasses, soft contact lenses, hard contact lenses, and medical eye exams. Call our eye doctor in Auburn, AL today at (334) 539-5391 or schedule an appointment online  if you have any questions or concerns about taking Atropine eye drops.  Our optometrist provides only the highest quality eye care services amongst eye doctors in the Auburn Alabama area.

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