Submitted by VisionPoint Eye Center
Do you keep reading glasses everywhere—the office, bathroom, garage, kitchen, car, purse etc.? Or have you just recently noticed that you have difficulty reading small print? Welcome to the club! As we get older, vision changes. It is inevitable and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who have had near perfect vision for most of your life, your near vision will start getting blurry sometime in your 40s.
The medical term for this is presbyopia and it is a common and progressive age-related eye condition that affects 128 million Americans, or nearly half of the U.S. adult population. What happens is the lenses of your eyes become harder and less flexible, making it more difficult to see up close. Until recently, solutions included becoming a reading glasses collector, or, if you already wear contacts or glasses, you might move into multi-focal contact lenses, progressive, bifocal, or trifocal eyewear.
But there is now a new option. Allergan has developed an eye drop called Vuity which is currently the first and only eye drop approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat presbyopia. It works by contracting certain eye muscles which reduce pupil size and temporarily improves near and intermediate vision while maintaining distance vision. The drops will generally start working within 15 minutes of administering and will last about 6 hours with diminishing effectiveness as you get closer to 6 hours.
According to materials provided by Allergan, two clinical studies were conducted which evaluated the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of Vuity for treating presbyopia. The results showed that a statistically significant proportion of participants treated with Vuity were able to read at least three additional lines on a reading chart. There were no serious adverse events observed in any of the participants treated with Vuity in either clinical study. The most common side effect reported by less than five percent of participants were headache and eye redness.
While this might seem like the perfect solution, don’t throw away your readers just yet—Vuity isn’t for everyone with presbyopia. The VisionPoint doctors agree that the best candidates are individuals between the ages of 40-60 with a refraction between +1.00 and -1.00 and no other eye conditions or diseases. That alone eliminates a large number of people. A bottle of Vuity eyedrops will set you back $80 on average. One bottle will last about a month with daily use. The drops are available only by prescription and are not covered by health insurance. The drops should not be used if driving at night or performing tasks in a low light environment. The drops can not be administered while wearing contact lenses. Contacts should be removed and then wait at least 10 minutes before inserting or reinserting contacts. If using other eye drops, the Vuity drops should be administered at least five minutes apart from any other drops.
As with anything eye related, it is best to see your eye doctor and discuss if Vuity drops might be right for you. After considering all the pros and cons, you might decide to just stick with using your readers, or you might want to give Vuity drops a try. You can stop using the drops anytime, so it’s easy to give them a trial run. If you have had an eye exam within the past 12 months, your doctor may prescribe the drops without an additional examination.
Your vision is an important part of your overall health. If you would like more information or to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, contact VisionPoint Eye Center at (309) 662-7700 or visit the website at www.visionpointeye.com. They are located at 1107 Airport Rd. in Bloomington. Their ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians will be happy to see you.