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People over 40 and those looking for prescription reading glasses or over-the-counter “cheaters” might have another option that doesn’t require surgery or even contact lenses. In October, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved eye drops to treat presbyopia.
Presbyopia is the medical term for age-related blurred near vision. This common and progressive condition that reduces the ability to focus on nearby objects affects nearly half of American adults. While it usually affects people over 40, younger people can also be farsighted.
An optometrist or ophthalmologist can diagnose presbyopia during a basic eye exam. It cannot be reversed but is usually corrected by wearing reading glasses or contacts and sometimes surgery.
Vision correcting eye drops
The new treatment is called Vuity and is a once-daily solution that is the first and, to date, the only eye drops approved by the FDA for the treatment of blurred near vision. It would work by causing the pupil to contract, providing six to 10 hours of enhanced clarity. The drops start to work in about 15 minutes.
Toni Wright heard about a clinical trial for Vuity eye drops in 2019 and became one of 750 participants aged 40 to 55. Wright, who used to keep a pair of reading glasses everywhere, immediately noticed a difference when she started using the treatment, according to Vuity’s parent brand, Allergan.
“As I got older my vision changed and it became almost impossible to see clearly up close unless I was wearing my e-readers. Realizing that I had to start using readers showed me how important it is to treat this condition, ”Wright said in a statement released by Allergan. “It was great to have the opportunity to participate in the clinical study for a potential new treatment option.”
Asked about her experience with Vuity by CBS News, Wright said, “It’s definitely a life changing.
A Vuity spokesperson told CBS News eye drops would work best for people between the ages of 40 and 55.
“For anyone who doesn’t want to play with reading glasses, this could be a very useful alternative,” Dr. Scott M. MacRae, ophthalmologist at the Center for Visual Science at the University of Rochester, told The New York Times.
According to Allergan, eye drop users should be careful while driving at night or performing hazardous activities in low light conditions. You can wear contact lenses with the drops, but they should be removed before use and reinserted at least 10 minutes after administration. The most frequently reported side effects were headache and redness of the eyes.
If you are planning on running to Walgreens to collect some, unfortunately it’s a little more complicated than that. Vuity eye drops should be prescribed by a doctor. According to Insider, they’re not currently covered by insurance and cost around $ 80 for a 30-day supply.