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A New Treatment Might Make Reading Glasses Obsolete

Posted by Susan Kist and Ronald Hows, January 5, 2022

Do you find yourself reaching for reading glasses in situations that never used to warrant them? And are you frequently frustrated when you can’t find your glasses? Despite purchasing multiple pairs, you might still find yourself squinting at restaurant menus, crossword puzzles, and magazines, and reaching for glasses that you’ve once again forgotten somewhere. Wouldn’t it be great if there were another solution to this problem?

Age-related blurring of vision, called presbyopia, is common after age 50 or so. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, presbyopia affects about two billion people worldwide. That’s a lot of reading glasses to keep up with!

If the above struggles sound familiar, you might be excited to learn that researchers have developed the first eye drops to treat presbyopia. In October, the FDA approved drops called Vuity, targeted at helping those who suffer from age-related near-vision blurriness.

The drops contain pilocarpine, which has been used to treat glaucoma for about 120 years. So, we have a lot of information about pilocarpine and know that it is very safe. The medication constricts certain muscles of the eye, slightly reducing pupil size. And that’s all it takes to restore up-close vision in many patients!

Users say the drops begin to work within about 15 minutes of use, and that the effects last throughout the workday.

The drops work well for many people but are less effective in those who have begun to develop glaucoma. Vuity is also not appropriate for nighttime use, because it can restrict the amount of light allowed into the eye, making night vision even worse.

If you’re interested in ditching the reading glasses, talk to your eyecare professional about your  options. Researchers continue to work on other solutions for age-related vision blurring, and soon perhaps none of us will have to keep up with glasses anymore.

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