New Eyedrops May Make Eye Glasses Obsolete for Nearsighted Vision

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Vuity, a new F.D.A approved, once-a-day treatment, may help improve close up vision for users without altering their long-range vision.

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Eye (CC BY ND 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)Christiaan Botha/flicka

As we all age, it is natural that our up-close vision begins to decrease. Even for those of us who are near sighted, normally having good close up even if not far away, will begin to notice we may begin to need reading classes.

Presbyopia, or the loss of near sighted vision, is not a disease, it is a part of the natural aging process of the eye that happens eventually to all of us. It is caused when the lens in your eye begins to become less flexible with age and is no longer able to focus light accurately on the retina. Presbyopia usually has an onset of about age 40 and gets worse through the late 60s at which point it usually levels off. It doesn’t usually change your long- distance vision.

This refractory problem can be particularly troublesome for those of us who are near sighted and have difficulty seeing far away. While at first nearsighted individuals can remove their glasses and still see up close, as time goes on this isn’t enough. So, you reach a point where both your near- and far-sighted vision are affected and it become impossible to see well at either distance.

Soft contacts typically help with far away vision but they don’t do much for up close vision when presbyopia really sets in. This can be corrected with the addition of reading glasses. However, many people who choose to wear contacts, do so because they don’t like the way they look in glasses, so this defeats the purpose. Most pairs of reading glasses also tend to blur far vision so you are faced with putting them on and taking them off whenever switching between close and far vision.

Now, a new medication may help make reading glasses obsolete without effecting far off vision. The new treatment is as simple as using an eyedrop once a day.

Vuity, was approved by the F.D.A. in October and it is the first medication that exists to treat Presbyopia. It became available Thursday with a prescription.

According to the manufacturer, the medication works by causing the pupils to become temporarily smaller enabling them to focus better on close up objects. Vuity takes up to 15 minutes to work and lasts for about six hours. It can take a month for the drug to work at the height of its effectiveness.

In two clinical studies, 750 people between the ages of 39 and 56 with Presbyopia were randomly assigned to be treated with the investigation drug or to receive a placebo. Subjects were told to place one drop of either the VUITY or placebo in each eye once a day.

In both studies a statistically significant number of subjects treated with VUITY gained the ability to read at least three additional lines on the vision chart in “low light, high contrast, binocular Distance Corrected Near Visual Acuity (DCNVA)”, without losing more 5 letters of Corrected Distance Visual Acuity (CDVA) by the end of day 30. The placebo group did not achieve these results.

No serious side effects were experienced by any subjects treated with the investigation drug in either clinical investigation. The most frequent side effects in those treated with VUITY were headache and eye redness. These occurred in less than 5 percent of the subjects who had received the VUITY.

“VUITY offers a novel, safe, well-tolerated and effective alternative to current options for managing age-related blurry near vision," said George O. Waring IV, M.D., FACS, Medical Director of the Waring Vision Institute and principal investigator. "I am particularly encouraged by the rapid onset of action and duration of efficacy for VUITY to improve near and intermediate vision without impacting distance vision with one drop daily, particularly for those with mild to moderate presbyopia."

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