Growing older is a blessing, but it often comes with some less-than-ideal side effects. One of the most common of these is presbyopia or age-related blurry near vision.
Many people begin to notice symptoms of presbyopia around age 40—sometimes even earlier. Maybe you find yourself holding menus or your phone farther away to read the words more clearly. Maybe you notice blurred vision while reading a book. Or you realize that reading or performing close-up work in dimly lit spaces causes eyestrain.
Truthfully, it’s more common than you think. In fact, an estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide live with presbyopia. And the National Library of Medicine estimates that approximately 80% of 45- to 55-year-olds in North America have presbyopia.
The good news is there are ways to remediate the symptoms of presbyopia.
At Monocle, one of our favorite ways to treat presbyopia is with VUITY™ eye drops. Read on to learn about VUITY™ and whether or not they could help your vision.
How do VUITY™ eye drops work?
VUITY™ stakes its claim as the first and only FDA-approved eye drop to treat age-related presbyopia in adults.
The drops are made of a pilocarpine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution (1.25%) that reduces the size of your pupil to help you see up close more clearly. This solution (at a higher concentration) is commonly used to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
"As we age, the lenses of our eyes become less flexible, making it more difficult to focus on things up close. VUITY™ offers a novel, safe, well-tolerated, and effective alternative to current options for managing age-related blurry near vision," said George O. Waring IV, M.D., FACS, medical director, Waring Vision Institute, South Carolina, and GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2 principal study investigator.
Two clinical studies, GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2, were performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of VUITY™. The Abbvie News Center notes highlights from the two clinical studies which led to the product’s FDA approval:
- A total of 750 participants aged 40 to 55 years old with presbyopia were randomized in the two studies in a one-to-one ratio of placebo to VUITY™.
- Participants were instructed to administer one drop of VUITY™ or placebo once daily in each eye.
- Both studies met their primary endpoints with a statistically significant proportion of participants treated with VUITY™ gaining three lines (the ability to read three additional lines on a reading chart) or more in mesopic (in low light), high contrast, binocular Distance Corrected Near Visual Acuity (DCNVA), without losing more than 1 line (5 letters) of Corrected Distance Visual Acuity (CDVA) at day 30, hour 3, versus placebo.
- There were no serious adverse events observed in any participants treated with VUITY™ in either clinical study. The most common treatment for emergent non-serious adverse events occurring at a frequency of >5% in participants treated with VUITY™ were headache and eye redness.
Please note: Because smaller pupils means less light enters your eyes, it is recommended that you avoid using the eye drops at night.
What are the benefits of VUITY™ eye drops?
Put simply, VUITY™ helps remove some frustration from your everyday life by providing relief from presbyopia. On top of that, the eye drops have the ability to replace your reading glasses.
Never go searching for misplaced reading glasses again? Yes please!
With VUITY™ you can also turn that gigantic font size on your phone back down. You won’t be needing that anymore.
Another notable benefit of VUITY™ is that it targets close-up vision without impacting distance vision.
How do I know if VUITY™ is right for me?
According to Mayo Clinic, presbyopia typically becomes noticeable after 40 years of age. It can continue to worsen until around age 65. If you are within this age range and are experiencing symptoms of presbyopia, VUITY™ may be the answer for you.
Common symptoms of presbyopia include:
- Holding reading materials further away from your eyes than typical in an effort to make the letters clearer
- Blurred vision at your normal reading distance
- Difficulty reading in dimly lit spaces
- Eyestrain after reading
- Headaches after close-up work
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we suggest you schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss whether VUITY™ could help you.
How soon does VUITY™ start working?
The drops have shown to begin working in as early as 15 minutes and can last up to six hours.
All you have to do is put one drop in each eye, once per day.
Waring shared, "I am particularly encouraged by the rapid onset of action and duration of efficacy for VUITY™ to improve near and intermediate vision without impacting distance vision with one drop daily, particularly for those with mild to moderate presbyopia."
How long does a bottle of VUITY™ last?
A bottle of eye drops lasts about a month.
What are the side effects of VUITY™ eye drops?
Potential side effects of VUITY™ are typically mild, but most commonly include headache and eye redness.
Safety information from the VUITY™ website includes:
- Do not use VUITY™ if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
- VUITY™ may cause temporary dim or dark vision. Use caution when driving at night or performing hazardous activities in poor lighting.
- Temporary problems when changing focus between near and distant objects may occur. Do not drive or use machinery if vision is not clear (e.g., blurred vision).
- Seek immediate medical care if you experience sudden onset of flashing lights, floaters, or vision loss.
- If you wear contact lenses, they should be removed prior to VUITY™ use. Wait 10 minutes after dosing before reinserting contact lenses.
- Do not touch the dropper tip to any surface as this may contaminate the contents.
- If more than one topical eye medication is being used, the medicines must be administered at least 5 minutes apart.
- The most common side effects are headache and eye redness. These are not all the possible side effects of VUITY™.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please see full Prescribing Information by clicking here.
Can I buy VUITY™ over the counter?
VUITY™ eye drops are available by prescription only.
Important safety information should be reviewed on the VUITY™ website before speaking to your eye doctor.