A 21st century solution for presbyopia

Like other eyecare professionals, the most common diagnosis in “elderly patients” is presbyopia. It can be annoying or even debilitating depending on the severity of the symptoms. But as we all know, presbyopia is one of our most common diagnoses, affecting almost 1.8 billion people worldwide with 40 years of average age. However, its universal character does not facilitate the task of the doctor or the patient.

Today’s presbyopia is more complex to treat for a variety of reasons. Our workplace and even our daily communications increasingly depend on digital devices that create more stress on our eyes. As people live and work longer, lenses alone may not provide optimal treatment for presbyopia.

Patients who have had excellent vision throughout their lives are never happy to learn the truth. Once I strike up the conversation, “Around the age of 40, your eyes slowly lose their ability to focus….” patients usually come in and say, “Please don’t tell me I need bifocals!” With advancements in medicine and a renewed interest in health, nutrition, and wellness, most health-conscious presbyopics want to know all of their options for better, more comfortable vision.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?

The truth is, we have several options to help with presbyopia:

  1. Reading glasses
  2. Progressive or bifocal lenses
  3. Multifocal or monovision contacts
  4. Surgical options such as implantation of multifocal or accommodating intraocular lenses, corneal encrustation or intrastromal laser correction.

These are options that have been around for many years, but there are times when none of the above choices are ideal for a patient.

IN THE NEAR FUTURE: AN EYE DROP THAT WILL TREAT PRESBYOPIA

An exciting new treatment option that will dramatically change the way we treat presbyopia is the use of eye drops. Orasis (OR-uh-sis) Pharmaceuticals is working on a drop that can restore a patient’s near vision. Gout balances e ciency, safety and comfort that are essential for people with presbyopia looking for an alternative to reading glasses.

Source: Avalon Health Economics study, June 2020

From a doctor’s perspective, not only am I thrilled to have another treatment option, but I’m thrilled that this new drop is a preservative-free formula. It will be a much better option for my patients with dry eye. Less preservatives in the eyes result in a healthier tear film and that means I don’t have to compromise the health of the ocular surface for presbyopia treatment.

WHY DOES THE USE OF EYEDROP CHANGE THE GAME IN THE TREATMENT OF PRESBYOPIA?

Many patients first experience the signs of aging when they learn to use reading glasses or progressive lenses. While this is a normal change in aging, the fact that something as important as your vision stops working as it should is a huge frustration and can impact every aspect of your life. . Also, for my patients who have a more active lifestyle, glasses can feel like an inconvenience and with constant use of masks, fogging of the glasses is another issue.

A 21st century solution for presbyopia

Having a gout that can improve reading vision for these patients may seem like a miracle cure. This allows patients to have the wisdom that accompanies their age while maintaining a more youthful outlook.

POV POV DOCTORS ‘POINT OF VIEW: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF EYE CARE?

As with most advancements in eye care, this is a particularly exciting question. I foresee a great movement of patients who turn to optometry offices to see if they are candidates for this drop. From a provider’s perspective, this is great news as it means that patients who might not normally have an eye exam will now be motivated to make an appointment. Comprehensive annual eye exams are an important part of your eye health, and preventative medicine is always better than reactive. We will be happy to welcome these new patients in our schedules.

Presbyopia is a normal part of life, but these exciting advancements come quickly. Over the next two years, we will have new treatment options for patients with presbyopia, which means treating some of these bothersome symptoms may be a thing of the past.


A 21st century solution for presbyopia

About the Author:

Jaclyn Garlich, OD, FAAO, is an optometrist and owner of Envision Optometry in Boston. A graduate of the New England College of Optometry, she continued her education by completing a residency in primary care and eye disease at St. Louis Veterans A airs. She received her scholarship from the American Academy of Optometry in 2011 and has a strong interest in the treatment of dry eye. She is the editor-in-chief of 20/20 Glance, an optometry newsletter that informs thousands of optometrists about the latest advances in our profession. Dr Garlich is also a major in the Air National Guard. Dr Garlich is a consultant for Orasis Pharmaceuticals.


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