Can Eyedrops Replace Reading Glasses?
Thoughts on this new treatment from one of the nation’s top eye doctors
Much of today’s interactions rely on seeing computers or smartphones. Yet, one half of all adults [128 million] in the US, need glasses or multifocal contact lenses to see clearly up close. And wearing glasses for reading makes us feel old. The FDA recently approved use of an eyedrop to treat presbyopia.
Why: The lens inside our eyes is responsible for changing shape to allow us to see both far and near objects. At about the age of 40, the lens becomes less flexible, making it difficult to see up close. Suddenly we realize our arms are not long enough or we need a lot more light to read. And we go to the drug store to obtain those glasses our grandparents used to wear! Are we really there yet?
What: Patients at Clearview tell us it feels like “Youth in a bottle”. No seriously, it’s called Vuity. Quite simply, it is the first and only FDA approved eye drop approved to treat presbyopia. There will be more on the way as there are at least 8 drops in various stages of clinical trials. And Vuity is made by the makers of BOTOX ---Allergan. The Gemini 1 and 2 FDA trials showed that one eye drop instilled in eyes once a day improved near and intermediate vision for six hours without significantly affecting distance vision. This led to FDA approval of the eye drop and ushered in a whole new treatment arena for presbyopia.1
Another study showed that instilling a second drop of Vuity extended the near and intermediate vision to 9 hours.
How: It works by constricting the pupil to create a pinhole effect. The smaller pupil allows less peripheral light to pass through the pupil, thus making the objects look sharper.
It’s a pretty safe drug --- pilocarpine, which has been used for years for the treatment of glaucoma.
Its optimized formulation allows the eyedrop to penetrate the eye.
Who: Who is a good candidate for this treatment? Generally, people aged 45-55, who have mild cases of presbyopia are the best candidates.
What: The most common side effects in the FDA clinical studies were headaches and eye redness in more than 5% of individuals. In the FDA clinical studies, there were no serious side effects. And be careful night driving as it can reduce light entering the eye.
How: The eyedrop is available with a doctor’s prescription after a thorough examination of your eye. It costs about 85-100 Dollars for a one month supply. For more information, call us at 858.452.3937 or visit clearvieweyes.com to schedule an eye exam to see if you are eligible to receive this treatment.[Note there will be a cost for this eye examination].
Does it: This eye drop will not completely replace reading glasses. However, it can be used to reduce one’s dependance on them for a large percentage of the working day. It is possible to envision a future where various eye drops are used at various stages of life to keep people glasses free. It can also be used in conjunction with LASIK to reduce one’s dependance on glasses for far and close.
WHO: Dr. Sandy Feldman, one of the nation’s top ophthalmologists and LASIK experts.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Sandy T. Feldman MD is the Medical Director of Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center and a world-renowned corneal expert who has successfully performed more than 20,000 refractive procedures. Clearview has been voted Best LASIK center by the San Diego Union Tribune (five times) and by CityBeat Magazine (five times). Dr. Feldman’s many awards include Top Doc San Diego; the Goldline Award, an honor granted to the top 10 laser eye care specialists in the U.S.; and the Silver Elite RealSelf Award. She has also been profiled in publications such as Forbes and Newsweek and makes frequent appearances as an expert commentator on TV talk shows and news programs. Dr. Feldman is a fellow of the prestigious American College of Ophthalmic Surgeons, as well as a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. More details at clearvieweyes.com.
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