US approves first eye drops that can eliminate the need for reading glasses

As a child, you would have seen your grandparents carrying around their reading glasses, especially to read their morning paper. With age, our eyes lose their elasticity and the lens begins to have difficulty becoming more rounded. This is when we get presbyopia, an eye condition that usually begins after age 40. You will find it difficult to focus on nearer objects within reading distance and will eventually need reading glasses. It is quite common and there are approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide with presbyopia.

Can eye drops replace your reading glasses?

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first eye drops to improve age-related near vision. Vuity is an eye drop solution you can apply for better vision throughout the day and you won’t need your reading glasses everywhere you go. The drop is most effective in people between the ages of 40 and 55 who have difficulty seeing clearly when performing everyday tasks, such as reading their phone or computer screen.

How it works

It is recommended to apply one drop in each eye daily. The drops start working 15 minutes after application and the effects last for around six hours.

Vuity is a formulation of a well-known drug known as pilocarpine. The researchers used the technology to allow eye drops to quickly adapt to the pH of the tear film. Vuity takes advantage of our eyes’ ability to reduce pupil size – near and intermediate vision improves, while distance vision is retained.

Each prescription lasts approximately 30 days and the effectiveness of the drop will increase after 30 days of use.

Eye drops clinical trial results

Two randomized clinical trials were conducted with 750 presbyopic subjects, aged 40 to 55 years. Half of the participants received the new eye drops, while the others received placebo eye drops.

Participants put VUITY eye drops or a placebo in each eye once a day. The drug started showing positive effects in about 15 minutes, with clearer vision lasting about 6-10 hours.

Researchers reported no serious side effects in either clinical study. The most common side effects included mild headaches and redness of the eyes. People may also have temporary difficulty adjusting their concentration due to the use of eye drops.

Who all can use it?

The drops can be offered to people with mild to intermediate presbyopia. Unfortunately, eye drops are less effective after age 65 due to the impact of aging. A 30-day prescription of Vuity eye drops costs around $79.

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