There’s a new prescription eyedrop that was just approved for presbyopia and farsightedness by the FDA, and I have concerns.
First, a few definitions. Refraction is what your eye doctor does to determine your eyeglass prescription. Myopic or near-sighted people see best up close WITHOUT their eyeglasses. Hyperopic or far-sighted people see best at far WITHOUT their glasses (but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can see clearly at far distances, just better than near). And finally, Presbyopic adults are those over the age of 40 who begin to require reading glasses to see up close. I’m both hyperopic (mild + prescription needed for distance) and presbyopic (yep, I wear no-line bifocals to help me with computer and reading distances).
The new drug, Vuity, uses a dilute glaucoma medication pilocarpine to help with both farsightedness and presbyopia. It works by contracting the focusing muscles in the eye. But as a side effect, it also makes the pupil size smaller. The prescription eyedrop is aimed for those people who have not yet had cataract surgery, and I know as a glaucoma specialist that chronic use of pilocarpine drops makes cataract surgery more difficult by not allowing the pupil to dilate fully when it’s time for surgery. That’s what has me concerned, and why I’m choosing not to use this new eyedrop for my own vision, for now.
Paul Krawitz, M.D., President and Founder