Shattky Optometrists

Visique Shattky Optometrists has been serving the people of Hawke's Bay with trusted expert eyecare and eyewear since 1906. We continue a proud history of family ownership with successive father & son teams Ernest & Derek Shattky, Neil & Phil Donaldson plus Mark & Tim Eagle. Using the very latest technologies and systems we specialise in Glaucoma tests, Retinal photography, Diabetic management, Therapeutic drugs, dietary supplements and Behavioural Optometry. We are ACC primary eyecare providers and CAA certificated examiners. Our speciality Orthokeratology and Keratoconus contact lens services are very successful. Using Zeiss, Nikon & Essilor quality lenses, High Fashion frames and sunglasses we excel in providing award winning choice. We provide Irlen and Cellfield specialist services for 3D, binocular problems, Amblyopia and reading problems.

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Home > How We Help > Atropine Therapy For Myopia Control

Atropine Ophthalmic Therapy for Myopia Control

Limiting the progression of childhood myopia

What is Myopia?

Myopia (short-sightedness) causes far distance objects to appear blurry, while near objects remain clear. It is caused by the eye growing too long.

A few children are born with myopia, but for most children it emerges around the age of 8-12yrs. 

Myopia can progress very quickly in some children, and it is not expected to stop changing until the age of 26yrs. Therefore, even a slow rate of change, over many years, can result in high degrees of myopia.

The exact cause of the emergence of myopia, and its progression, are not well proven but it is a combination of genetic, growth and environmental factors; e.g. prolonged intense near work is a known contributer to the changes.

Increases in myopia are associated with increased risk for sight threatening conditions such as Myopic Macular Degeneration, Cataract, Glaucoma, Retinal holes and Retinal Detachments. 

What is Myopia Control?

Myopia control describes techniques to slow the progression (worsening) of myopia over time.

There are a number of options we recommend to slow the progression; Visual Hygiene, bifocal spectacles, OrthoKeratology and Atropine Therapy.

 Why attempt to control the Myopia progression?

Myopic Macular Degeneration is damage to the back surface of the eye following uncontrolled eye growth and is the fourth most common cause of vision loss.   (The other three common causes are Age Related Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy)

High levels of short sightedness increase the risk of Cataract, Glaucoma and Retinal Detachment.

The Blue Mountains Eye Study (Australia) concluded that while low myopia (less than 5.00D) presents with a very low risk of Myopic Maculopathy,  this risk climbs significantly to1 in 4 for those with moderate myopia, and to even greater risk (1 in 2) for high levels (over 9.00D) of myopia.

The risk of retinal detachment is 2.2x higher in individuals with mild myopia compared to individuals without myopia. This risk rises to 9.7x greater than normal with higher levels of myopia.

Glaucoma data from the Blue Mountains study shows increasing odds for increasing myopia and a similar association was found with cataract development.

The concept of Preventative Medicine

Medical practices that are designed to avert and avoid disease are called Preventative Medicine. For example, screening for hypertension and treating it before it causes disease is good preventive medicine. Preventive medicine is a proactive approach to patient care.

We feel that Myopia Control fits well with the concept of preventative medicine;  it reduces the progression of myopia thereby reducing the eye health risks associated with higher levels of myopia.

What is Atropine?

Atropine is a very well known drug that has been used for thousands of years. It is sometimes referred to as Belladonna. When used as an eye drop in low concentrations ( 0.4% to 1%) it dilates the pupil and inhibits accommodation. As such it has been used as therapy for Glaucoma, Uveitis, Iritis and Amblyopia.
Known side effects at these concentrations, are photophobia and blurred vision. In rare instances can cause increased heart rate, flushing of the skin, dry mouth and confusion.

Low Dose Atropine as a therapy for myopia control

The use of Atropine in slowing down the progression of myopia was reported in the 19th century.

The effectiveness of Atropine for myopia control has been documented in research literature.

Low dose Atropine eye drops (0.01%) are a new treatment used for myopia control.
Recent research has proven that Atropine at a lower concentration (0.01% instead of 1.0%) is effective in reducing the rate of myopia progression. This lower concentration has a much lower likelihood of side effects, and is well tolerated by patients.

Since the reduced concentration of Atropine is not commercially available it will not be available from a standard pharmacy, it needs to be formulated by 1 of 2 New Zealand pharmacies Auckland or Christchurch.

Scientific Papers: 

If you would like copies of the relevant scientific papers related to Atropine therapy please do ask.

Or Click here

What is the process for beginning Atropine Ophthalmic Therapy?

First Year:

  1. Initial consultation and assessment to commence treatment.
  2. All visits required for an optimal therapeutic effect.
  3. All professional services involved in monitoring the visual response ensuring optimal eye health response to the Atropine drops for ONE YEAR (12 months) following the initial eye exam.
  4. The treatment protocol includes visits at one month, three months, and six months following the initiation of therapy. However, other visits related to atropine therapy may be needed and are also included in the program fee.
  5. All diagnostic testing involved in measuring for objective and subjective responses to therapy or detection of symptoms associated with potential side effects from the medication.
  6. Discount on any prescription and non-prescription eyewear including sunglasses
         10% on prescription eyewear
         20% on non-prescription sunglasses         (not including our package deals)

Atropine Therapy Program for the first year Fee: $550

Atropine Therapy first year when in conjunction with Orthokeratology Fee: $175



  1. Paid at the Annual Consultation and dispensing of first prescription of that year.
  2. This covers the Comprehensive routine annual consultation and the 6 month visit as well as any other scheduled or unscheduled visits pertaining to Atropine Therapy during the maintenance year and ongoing repeat prescriptions for Atropine 0.01% eye drops.
  3. It also includes the atropine discount on any prescription and non-prescription eyewear including sunglasses 
              10% on prescription eyewear
              20% on non-prescription sunglasses            (not including our package deals)

Atropine Therapy Maintenance Program Fees: $250 per year after the first year


Year One and Future Years Maintenance Program Fees do not include:.

  1. The cost of the medication which is determined by the supplying compounding pharmacy.
  2. The material cost of a Glasses / Contact lenses / or Contact lens evaluation if performed.


If your child is shortsighted, then we recommend that you book and appointment with Tim Eagle to advance this valuable investment in your child's future eye health Click here