Health + Wellness

FDA Approves Eye Drops That Could Replace Reading Glasses for Millions

reading glasses

Some 128 million Americans have trouble seeing up close causing them to need reading glasses, but a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved eye drop may be able to help with that. The eye drop is designed for those with age-related blurred near vision, a condition that mostly affects people 40 and older.

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How does the eye drop work?

Vuity, which was approved by the FDA in October, is administered through one drop on each eye daily. The medicine takes 15 minutes to go into effect and lasts for six to 10 hours according to the company.

The drops use the eye’s ability to reduce pupil size, which improves near vision without affecting distance vision.

“Most adults cope with presbyopia, or difficulty with near vision, as we age. Beginning around the age of 40, many find themselves using reading glasses, holding text further away, or even increasing the font size and lighting on screens to try to see more clearly,” Dr. Michael Severino, AbbVie vice chairman and president says.

According to an October release from AbbVie, the clinical trial involved 750 people between the ages of 40 and 55. A “statistically significant proportion” of those treated with the drops gained the ability to read three additional lines on a reading charge.

Toni Wright, one of the 750 participants in the clinical trial, liked what she saw.

“It’s definitely a life-changer,” Wright tells CBS News national correspondent Jericka Duncan.

Before the trial, Wright had to take her reading glasses everywhere (her office, bathroom, kitchen and car) in order to be able to see clearly.

“I was in denial because to me that was a sign of growing older, you know, needing to wear glasses,” she says.

Wright, a 54-year-old retail consultant, first learned about the new eye drop in 2019 through her doctor. She says after using the eye drop, she instantly noticed a difference in her eyesight.

“I would not need my readers as much, especially on the computer, where I would always need to have them on,” she adds.

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