First-ever FDA-approved eye drops can replace reading glasses
[Sept 27, 2022: Ryan Curry]
The drops are meant for people dealing with Presbyopia, an age-related eye issue that causes blurry vision. (Credit: Creative Commons)
New eye drops can limit the use for reading glasses.
Vuity has just been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and local ophthalmologists say it can be a life-changer.
The drops are meant for people dealing with Presbyopia, an age-related eye issue that causes blurry vision.
"We all know the reading glasses are annoying," said Dr. Ella Faktorovich, an ophthalmologist with Pacific Vision Institute. "Within 15 minutes you can see your computer, you can see your phone so you can really improve the range of vision. I think it is huge."
She says the drops target the focusing mechanism in the eye. The drops shrink the pupils and increase focus on the eye.
"There are many kinds of this medicine in trials, but this is the first to be approved," she said. "It is pretty remarkable."
It can help people like Lovester Law, who is currently writing a book. He says he spends hours looking at a screen to write.
"After I read too much or write to long, I just have to close my eyes and relax," he said.
"If we live long enough our eyes are going to age, they are not going to be like they used to be."
People who want the drops will have to consult an eye doctor, because they are only available through a prescription.
Doctors at UCSF say this breakthrough can be a catalyst for future eye treatment.
"The data we have shows that it really really works," said Julie Schallhorn, Associate Professor of ophthalmology at UCSF. "It is an exciting time to be in this field, and an exciting time for our patients."
About the VUITY Clinical Development Program
The FDA approval of VUITY was based on data from two pivotal phase 3 clinical studies, GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2, which evaluated the efficacy, safety and tolerability of VUITY for the treatment of presbyopia.
A total of 750 participants aged 40 to 55 years old with presbyopia were randomized in the two studies in a one-to-one ratio to either VUITY or placebo.
Participants were instructed to administer one drop of VUITY or placebo once daily in each eye.
Both studies met their primary endpoints with a statistically significant proportion of participants treated with VUITY gaining three lines (the ability to read three additional lines on a reading chart) or more in mesopic (in low light), high contrast, binocular Distance Corrected Near Visual Acuity (DCNVA), without losing more than 1 line (5 letters) of Corrected Distance Visual Acuity (CDVA) at day 30, hour 3, versus placebo.
There were no serious adverse events observed in any participants treated with VUITY in either clinical study. The most common adverse events occurring at a frequency of >5% in participants treated with VUITY were headache and eye redness.
Presbyopia, known as age-related blurry near vision, is a common and progressive eye condition that reduces the eye's ability to focus on near objects and usually impacts people after age 40. In a non-presbyopic eye, the clear lens behind the iris can change shape and focus light to the retina, making it easier to see things up close.
In a presbyopic eye, the clear lens hardens and does not change shape as easily, making it difficult to focus on near objects. Presbyopia can be diagnosed by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist/optometrist).
Presbyopia develops gradually. You may first notice these signs and symptoms after age 40:
A tendency to hold reading material farther away to make the letters clearer
Blurred vision at normal reading distance
Eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close-up work
You may notice these symptoms are worse if you are tired or are in an area with dim lighting.
When to see a doctor
See an eye doctor if blurry close-up vision is keeping you from reading, doing close-up work or enjoying other normal activities. He or she can determine whether you have presbyopia and advise you of your options.
Seek immediate medical care if you:
Have a sudden loss of vision in one eye with or without eye pain
Experience sudden hazy or blurred vision
See flashes of light, black spots or halos around lights
Have double vision
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