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When Will Presbyopia Eye Drops be Available?

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Two eye drop bottles, with one laying on its side are placed on a table with out of focus greenery behind them.

Introducing: Presbyopia Eye Drops. When will they be available?

Our eyes change all our lives, and so can our vision. Some changes are negligible, while others require treatment, such as prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. With regular eye exams, optometrists watch over changes and recommend treatment to prevent vision symptoms.

Notably, there is one vision problem experienced by everyone that can’t be prevented: presbyopia. Although the blurry vision caused by presbyopia can be inconvenient, there are multiple treatment options.

Reading glasses might be the classic choice for correcting presbyopia, but there’s more to see. One recent addition is presbyopia eye drops.

What Is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a refractive error, a vision problem affecting the ability to see clearly. Presbyopia makes near-vision blurry, but distance-vision remains clear. An irregular eye shape causes refractive errors. In the case of presbyopia, it’s caused by lens changing as a natural part of the aging process.

The lens is a transparent layer behind the iris (colored part of the eye) that changes shape to direct light on the retina. When light isn’t focused correctly, we experience blurry vision.

Although presbyopia typically becomes noticeable in adults reaching their mid-40s, the change in focusing ability can begin in childhood. It can also occur alongside other refractive errors and complicate treatment for myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. As developing presbyopia is part of the natural aging process, everyone will eventually develop the condition.

How Is Presbyopia Treated?

Reading glasses are the most popular choice for people with presbyopia, and it shows. Sales for reading glasses in the US continue to rise and are expected to reach almost $18 billion by 2026. As a result, the demand for a solution for presbyopia is high and is only growing.

Reaching for reading glasses or a magnifying glass is an extra step that can be inconvenient for some patients. It can be even more challenging when you need to read something, only to realize you’ve left your reading glasses at home.

Monovision, or blended vision, is another common approach to managing presbyopia. Binocular vision is how our eyes normally operate, working together as a team. With monovision, one eye is corrected for distance vision, and the other is left intentionally for near-vision. As most people have a dominant eye, the preferred eye is generally chosen for vision correction.

When using the monovision technique, you still use both eyes, but for different tasks or distances. The dominant eye can be corrected with contact lenses, refractive surgery, or intraocular lenses (IOLs)

Monovision can be more convenient than switching between prescription eyeglasses or contacts. However, blended vision can be challenging to adapt to, so most optometrists recommend trying the technique with contacts before recommending surgery.

Whether you prefer glasses, contacts, or the monovision technique, it’s worth noting your prescription will continue to change. How frequently your vision may change is individual. It can also be affected by additional eye problems. Therefore, regular eye exams are crucial to keeping up-to-date with your vision and protecting your eye health.

Up close image of a woman about to release a drop from a bottle onto her eye.

Presbyopia Eye Drops Are Available

The first eye drops for treating presbyopia, VUITY, are currently available by prescription nationwide. The eye drops became FDA-approved in November 2021, making them the first and only FDA-approved presbyopia drops.

Presbyopia eye drops don’t cure the eye condition, but they can improve the quality of your vision. Additionally, it can be easier to apply eye drops once a day rather than keep track of your glasses or contacts. It’s also easier to adjust to than monovision.

The VUITY eye drops are used daily, with one drop per eye. The eye drops don’t affect your lens directly. Instead, the drops reduce pupil size. Your pupils adapt to light or distance changes by widening or shrinking, with pupils becoming smaller for near-vision. The presbyopia eye drops ensure your pupil size supports your near-vision needs.

Eye drops can also help with the condition that commonly occurs alongside presbyopia: dry eye. We typically produce fewer quality tears as our eyes age, affecting eye moisture. Eye drops add lubrication to your eyes, so presbyopia eye drops can benefit both eye conditions. 

Although presbyopia eye drops can help many patients, it’s crucial to discuss the treatment with your eye care team first. Then, your optometrist can ensure treatment is safe, comfortable, and beneficial for your eyes.

Visit Us for More Information

Your eyes are unique, and so are the solutions for protecting your visual health. Presbyopia eye drops can be a convenient solution for many people. First, however, it’s essential to assess and discuss your eye health and vision to determine if eye drops are the best choice for you.

A Riverside optometrist at 20/20 Vision Associates can evaluate your vision needs and work with you to find the best treatment options. We’re dedicated to providing our patients with the appropriate eye care for their unique eyes. Book an appointment today to discuss how we can improve your vision.

Written by Dr. Cheryl Everitt

Cheryl M. Everitt, OD, received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, California in 1994. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Everitt takes a special interest in treating patients with a variety of difficult eye conditions, such as chronic headaches and migraines. Dr. Everitt has been a conference speaker on topics ranging from contact lenses to practice management to trigeminal dysphoria. She has also participated in a mobile eye clinic in Riverside, and medical missions to Mexico. Dr. Everitt is one of the original founders of 20/20 Vision Associates Optometry and has practiced for 25 years. She was an associate research scientist for 4 years prior to becoming an optometrist. She is also an active member of her church.
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