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'Lazy eye' drops not needed daily

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BALTIMORE, Nov 01, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center say daily doses of atropine sulfate eyedrops for children with a "lazy eye" is unnecessary.

In a study published Monday, researchers said giving the drops just twice during the weekend is just as effective as administering them every day of the week for the condition known as amblyopia.

In the study, 168 children up to 7 years old with moderate amblyopia were randomly assigned to get 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 said.

The findings are published by the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group in the November issue of Ophthalmology.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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