Novel Eye Drops May Help with Age-Related Nearsightedness

The pharmaceutical company AbbieVie has just announced the FDA approval of a new product that aims to help people read. Or write. Or solve puzzles. Or do almost anything that requires clear, up-close vision. AbbieVie has dubbed the product VUITY, and the $200-billion company says it can improve people’s blurry vision with just a few daily drops.

Design Taxi picked up on the FDA’s approval of VUITY, which AbbieVie recently announced in a press release. The pharmaceutical company claims that VUITY—or, generically, pilocarpine HCl ophthalmic solution 1.25%—is able to treat presbyopia; a.k.a. age-related blurry vision in adults.

A person uses an eye dropper, which may one day be full of a solution for blurry vision, into her eye.
MarLeah Cole

The eye drops, which users drop into their eyes once daily, work by using the eye’s own ability to reduce pupil size without affecting long-distance vision. The drops appear to work by correcting the pH balance of the eye’s tear film; that is, the extremely thin fluid layer that covers the mucosal surface of the eye.

“As we age, the lenses of our eyes become less flexible, making it more difficult to focus on things up close,” George O. Waring told The Ophthalmology Times. Waring, the medical director at the Waring Vision Institute in South Carolina and principal investigator of the company’s phase 3 clinical trials, added that he’s particularly encouraged by the drops’ rapid onset and duration. The company claims users can see improvement as soon as 15 minutes after usage, and a total efficacy period of six hours.

As for how effective the drops are, AbbieVie claims their study participants gained three lines on vision-testing reading charts. Some participants were also able to see better in low light.

The Ophthalmology Times reports that AbbieVie observed “no serious adverse events” in study participants. And saw fewer than 5% of participants experience headaches and eye redness. RxList, an online medical resource offering detailed information on brand and generic drugs, does note some serious side effects. RxList reports users have experienced hives, trouble breathing, blurry vision, and swelling of the face.

So soon it might be time to throw those readers… in a drawer for safe keeping.

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