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Cycloplegia in Children: An Optometrist’s Perspective

Authors Major E, Dutson T, Moshirfar M

Received 11 November 2019

Accepted for publication 31 July 2020

Published 25 August 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 129—133


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Mr Simon Berry

Erin Major,1 Thomas Dutson,2 Majid Moshirfar2– 4

1Southern California College of Optometry, Marshall B. Ketchum University, Fullerton, CA, USA; 2Hoopes Vision, Draper, UT, USA; 3John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; 4Utah Lions Eye Bank, Murray, UT, USA

Correspondence: Thomas Dutson
Hoopes Vision, Draper, UT, USA

Purpose: To determine the current scope of practice with regards to cycloplegic examinations, specifically in the pediatric population.
Methods: A comprehensive literature review was conducted using PubMed, ScienceDirect, Elsevier, and Google Scholar databases using keywords such as “cyclopentolate”; “tropicamide”; “pediatric”; “cycloplegia”; “atropine”; and “cycloplegic” from inception to October 2019.
Results: Atropine has the strongest cycloplegic effect and is recommended for cases of large accommodative esotropia. Because of the undesired side effects and risks from atropine, cyclopentolate has been found to offer a very effective cycloplegia even for moderate to high hyperopia and has become the standard of care for traditional pediatric cycloplegic exams. Tropicamide has also been shown to offer adequate cycloplegia with less toxicity and side effects. Of all agents, tropicamide presents the least side effects and toxicity, whereas atropine presents the greatest. Cyclopentolate is a very safe cycloplegic agent that has risk of toxicity which increases with higher doses and concentrations.
Conclusion: The American Optometric Association’s current pediatric cycloplegic guidelines have proven both safe and effective, as they recommend a conservative approach of using cyclopentolate 0.5% in infants and cyclopentolate 1% in those older than one-year old to avoid undesired side effects. Topical ophthalmic drops and spray instillation have both proved equally efficacious and therefore each have their place within a clinical setting. Using Cycolmydril under six months old and cyclopentolate 1% over 6 months old as recommended by the AAO, also provides a safe and effective guideline for cycloplegic examinations within the pediatric population.

Keywords: cycloplegic, cycloplegia, pediatric

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