Gamechanging eye drops could replace reading glasses, study finds
[Nov. 17, 2023: JJ Shavit, The Brighter Side of News]
The drops are meant for people dealing with Presbyopia, an age-related eye issue that causes blurry vision. (Credit: Creative Commons)
Local ophthalmologists are hailing Vuity as a potential game-changer for individuals suffering from Presbyopia - an age-related eye condition that results in blurred vision.
VUITY has shown promising results in improving near vision in individuals without causing any serious adverse events.
These newly approved eye drops could potentially reduce reliance on reading glasses.
"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."
Accordingly, the drops are designed to specifically address the eye's focusing mechanism by reducing pupil size and increasing focus.
"There are many kinds of this medicine in trials, but this is the first to be approved," she said. "It is pretty remarkable."
Individuals like Lovester Law, who spend hours staring at screens while writing, may benefit from these drops.
"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."
As these drops are only available by prescription, individuals interested in using them will need to consult with an eye doctor.
According to doctors at UCSF, this breakthrough has the potential to act as a catalyst for future advancements in eye treatments.
"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 efficacy, safety, and tolerability of VUITY for treating Presbyopia were evaluated in two pivotal phase 3 clinical studies, GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2. The FDA approval of VUITY was based on data from these studies.
In the two clinical studies, GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2, 750 individuals aged 40 to 55 years old with Presbyopia were randomly assigned to receive either VUITY or placebo in a one-to-one ratio. They were instructed to apply one drop of VUITY or placebo once a day in each eye.
In the studies, participants were randomly assigned to receive either VUITY or placebo in a one-to-one ratio. They were instructed to administer one drop of the drug or placebo once daily in each eye. Both studies met their primary endpoints, with a statistically significant proportion of participants treated with VUITY experiencing a gain of three or more lines in mesopic (in low light), high contrast, binocular Distance Corrected Near Visual Acuity (DCNVA) without losing more than one line (five letters) of Corrected Distance Visual Acuity (CDVA) at day 30, hour 3, compared to those who received placebo.
The results of these studies suggest that VUITY can significantly improve near vision in individuals with Presbyopia. Moreover, no serious adverse events were observed in any participants treated with VUITY in either clinical study. The most common adverse events reported were headache and eye redness, occurring at a frequency of more than 5% in participants treated with VUITY.
The FDA approval of VUITY marks a significant breakthrough in the treatment of Presbyopia. The drug targets the eye's focusing mechanism, reducing pupil size and increasing focus, thereby potentially reducing reliance on reading glasses. While the drug is only available through a prescription, it has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with Presbyopia.
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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