Eye drop instead of reading glasses? By now you’ve probably seen the marketing for Vuity. It is the first FDA approved prescription eye drop for presbyopia.
What’s presbyopia? It’s the condition that causes those of us *ahem* over 40 to need reading glasses. When you are young, the lens can change shape easily to view things in the distance and up close.
As we age, the lens in our eye loses elasticity and can no longer focus up close.
Vuity is pilocarpine 1.25%. It actually not “new”. Pilocarpine is a drop that was used to treat glaucoma as far back as the 1800’s. It works by decreasing the fluid production of the eye. But, what it also does is make your pupil smaller. By decreasing the peripheral light rays that enter your eye, it makes it easier to focus. For years, I’ve had one patient in my office who refuses to use any other eye drop for her glaucoma because she enjoys the improved vision.
It’s the same effect as when you look through the black thing with the pinholes at the doctor’s office and things are suddenly clearer.
Does it work?
Two 30 day Phase 3, randomized, double masked, vehicle controlled studies examined 750 participants, aged 40-55 years old with presbyopia. A little less than 1/3 of patients were able to read 3 lines smaller with the eye drop using a standard near card.
Who is this for?
People like me, 40-55 years old with mild to moderate presbyopia.
It takes 15 minutes once you instill the drop to notice an improvement in reading vision and the effects last 6 hours.
- Red eyes
- Eye irritation
- Blurred vision
- Eye pain
- Difficult seeing in dim light (driving in the dark)
Though retinal detachments weren’t found in the FDA studies, it’s a known side effect of pilocarpine and part of the reason most ophthalmologists stopped using it to treat glaucoma. That being said, the dosage to treat glaucoma was much higher than is found in Vuity (4% vs 1.25%) and the frequency of dosing was also higher (usually 4 times a day for glaucoma treatment vs once a day).
The drop is not covered by insurance. It costs $80 for a one month supply.
I tried it. I got about 1.5 lines of improved vision on the near card. I could read my phone better, but still hd to pinch and zoom my electronic medical chart. I did a Youtube video detailing all of this and more, so check that out.