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Myopia in the news: Caffeine metabolite may slow progression of myopia in children

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

From corrective lenses to simply spending more time out of doors, there are several approaches parents can adopt to help with myopia management in their children. Myopia cannot be reversed, but the more its progress can be slowed down, the better the outcome in later life.

Now researchers have reported another potential treatment, using a metabolite of caffeine known as 7-MX. In actual fact, this product has been licensed in Denmark since 2009 as a treatment to reduce the rate of childhood myopia progression. But a study only recently examined the product's potential impact.

Reviewing the records of 711 children who were treated at one Danish eye clinic between June 2000 and January 2021, the researchers found that:

“Treatment with 7-MX was associated with a slower rate of worsening myopia and axial elongation, with higher doses seemingly more effective.” [1]

The researchers have now called for a randomised trial to discount other factors that may have influenced the outcome, such as time spent outdoors or genetics.

Overall our view is: Pending such a trial, the results of the study, whilst promising, should be viewed only as a potential avenue to be considered rather than a definitive new approach. This also does not mean that parents should start to offer their children high caffeine products like energy drinks or coffee, for example.

If you're a parent whose child has been diagnosed with myopia or if they are struggling with their distance vision, we hope you found MyopiaFocus helpful. Please join our community or sign our petition to get the government and NHS to recognise myopia as an ocular disease/severe ocular condition and fund myopia management for children.

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