Can new eye drops reduce or eliminate the need for glasses and contacts lenses?
Yes! Beginning early next year some people who suffer from a condition known as presbyopia will be able to put the eyeglasses and/or contact lenses away for an extended period of time. Presbyopia is a condition that causes the gradual loss of your eyes' ability to focus on nearby objects. It usually starts around the age of 40 and can continue to worsen over time. It is a very common condition; more than 128 million Americans have presbyopia. Most of us become aware of presbyopia when we find it necessary to hold books or other reading material at arm's length in order to read. The condition can be improved.
When you look at something nearby, the muscle constricts, allowing the lens to curve which allows you to focus. The lens actually changes its shape when the muscle is functioning properly. The muscle relaxes when you look at objects at a distance. When this muscle can no longer perform properly, images will appear out of focus. Glasses or multi-focal contact lenses optically correct vision, making up for what the muscle can no longer do.
Now, new eye drops, which have undergone very successful Phase 3 clinical studies, with minimal side effects, have been shown to improve the performance of focusing muscles for people with presbyopia. For some patients, the new eye drops may delay the need for reading glasses or contacts! Allergan, one of the pharmaceutical companies who are making the eye drop, Vuity® has reported that the “drops have a rapid onset of action and sustain the visual gains for as long as six hours.” Further, “Patients who had the drug reported significant improvements in their ability to read at a close distance.”
After we examine your eyes, if we believe the new drops will be advantageous to you, and you are interested in trying them, we will write the necessary prescription for you. Talk to your Cool Springs Eye Care doctor to learn more about this exciting advance in presbyopia therapy. Some patients may be able to save money on the cost of corrective lenses in situations where they would otherwise be ready for progressive lenses. Naturally, this therapy would likely not apply to patients who have already had cataract surgery.