Revolutionary eye drops combatting age-related blurry vision hits market

by mcardinal

Megan Udinski, FISM News



An FDA approved revolutionary new eye drop could replace reading glasses for those suffering from age-related blurry vision, potentially benefitting millions of Americans.

Allergan, an AbbVie company, announced yesterday that their one-of-a-kind eye drops VUITY 1.25%, are now available in pharmacies nationwide. The FDA approved the drops in October after three, two-phase clinical studies were conducted to measure the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of the drops to treat presbyopia. 

The study looked at 750 participants 40-55 years of age who have age-related farsightedness. Half of the group was treated with VUITY and the other with a placebo drop once a day for 30 days. The results were “statistically significant” indicating that those treated with the drug gained three lines of clarity on a reading chart. 

The most prevalent adverse reaction for those treated with VUITY were headaches and redness in the eyes. A spokesperson said that while these reactions were anticipated, they also expect them to lessen with time as they were only observed for a three-month period. The company will continue to monitor these symptoms.

Presbyopia is a progressive condition which affects the eyes’ ability to focus on objects up close, usually beginning around age 40. It affects 128 million Americans, approximately half of the U.S. adult population. 

The eye drops are to be used once a day and start working 15 minutes later, lasting for six-ten hours at a time. Dr. George Waring, the principal investigator for the trials explaining that the drops reduce “the pupil size” and “expands the depth of field or the depth of focus, and that allows you to focus at different ranges naturally.”

Dr. Selina McGee, Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry expressed her excitement over these drops saying, “As an optometrist who also has presbyopia, I’m personally and professionally excited to try VUITY for myself, as well as offer it to my patients with age-related blurry near vision. 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.”

The eye drops are currently not covered by insurance companies and probably never will be since it is not a medical necessity due to the cheaper option of glasses. Using the eye drops is more of a matter of convenience, and it does come at a price. A 30-day supply of the eye drops costs about $80. 

The company cautions users to avoid using the eye drops in low-light settings like driving at night. The eye drops are most effective for those 40-55 years of age and lose effectiveness for those over 65 years old. VUITY is most helpful for those with a mild to intermediate condition of presbyopia and is not meant to be a cure-all. 

These eye drops may be come at an opportune time, as many have had to work from home since the pandemic began in 2020 increasing the daily use of technology for countless Americans.