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Eyedrops That Could Replace Reading Glasses Now Available

New eyedrops called VUITY give users sharp, close-range vision for up to 6 hours. Credit: Public Domain

VUITY eyedrops, an innovative new once-daily eye drop treatment that gives users sharp close-range vision for up to six hours, are now available through prescription at pharmacies across the country.

The eyedrops, which became available on December 9, treat presbyopia, a vision condition that results in increasingly blurry vision for close-range objects. VUITY is the first medication of its kind to treat presbyopia, which commonly occurs in older adults. The drops work by using pilocarpine, which causes the pupil to contract, allowing close-range objects to appear in focus.

Presbyopia is an age-related condition that worsens with time. As people get older, the lenses of their eyes lose elasticity, causing their close-range vision to dull. People tend to be affected by presbyopia at the beginning of middle age, with their vision gradually deteriorating over the rest of their life.

“Many Americans deal with presbyopia, which typically begins around age 40, by relying on reading glasses or resorting to work-arounds like zooming in on their digital devices to see up close,” Dr. Selina McGee, optometrist and Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, said in a statement announcing VUITY’s release.

“With VUITY now available, it is a good time for those who experience age-related blurry near vision to visit their eye doctor for an exam and to discuss their options to manage this common condition.”

VUITY available at pharmacies after being approved by FDA in October

VUITY was created by the biopharmaceutical company AbbVie and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in October. The FDA approved the drug after conducting two randomized placebo-controlled phase 3 trials that tested whether VUITY improved close-range vision safely. The trials used a total of 750 participants with presbyopia that were between the ages of 40 and 55 years old.

“We are pleased to be able to bring this first-of-its-kind treatment to market sooner than expected for the millions of Americans with presbyopia who may benefit from it,” said Jag Dosanjh, senior vice president of medical therapeutics at Allergan, an AbbVie company.

“This significant innovation in age-related eye health reflects our commitment to advance vision care and expands our leading portfolio of treatments for eye care providers and their patients.”

“As I’ve gotten older, my vision has changed, and it has become almost impossible to see clearly up close unless I wear my readers. Realizing that I needed to start using readers showed me how important it was to address this condition,” said Toni Wright, a clinical trial participant.

“It was great to have the opportunity to participate in the clinical study investigating a new potential treatment option. I’m so excited (that) the investigational treatment, which has been identified as VUITY, is now approved and available as a treatment to manage age-related blurry near vision.”

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