Scientists develop new eye drops that help improve vision in older people without glasses or surgery

Fareeha Arshad

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Consult a health professional before making any significant health decisions.

As people cross their 40s, their close up vision starts deteriorating. Most people try to get used to this change by increasing the font size in their devices or enhancing the brightness to figure out the textual or pictorial contents. Also known as presbyopia, more than 100 million people are affected by this condition in the United States alone.

To treat this condition and better the lives of the older population, The US Food and Drug Administration developed and approved a new eye drop, Vuity, at the end of last year, 2021. Previously, people depended on wearing spectacles or getting eye surgery to improve their eyesight. However, people can now have better vision without undergoing unnecessary discomfort with these eye drops.

As per Robert Bittner, an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences, the eye focuses on nearby objects either by changing the shape of the lens or by adjusting the pupil to reduce size. The presbyopia condition restricts the eyes' ability to change shapes. These eye drops adjust the pupil's size to help focus on close objects.

After the eye drops are inserted into the eyes, the active ingredient, pilocarpine, comes into action after fifteen minutes. The effect of this medication lasts for over six hours or so. Pilocarpine was first discovered in the 1800s and is used in several formulations to treat hypertension and glaucoma.

Because these eye drops to decrease the pupil's size, this would mean lesser light would enter the eyes. This could be especially problematic when there is not enough light and can pose a problem to see in low light conditions. Also, side effects like headaches and reddening of the eyes have been reported after taking these eye drops.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

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