Over the last few weeks, I have had many patients call me and make appointments to ask questions regarding a new eyedrop that was recently announced - Vuity™. Questions ranged from:
- “Am I a good candidate?”
- “What exactly does this drop do?”
- “Are there side effects?”
- “How often do I have to use it?”
- In the next couple minutes I hope to answer all these questions and more!
So let’s start with the basics. Vuity™ is a medication used to treat age-related farsightedness, a condition known as presbyopia. Presbyopia universally starts occurring around the age of 40. The natural lens inside the eye that focuses light on the retina doesn’t change shape as easily as it once did. Traditionally, glasses such as readers, bifocals or progressives, and/or contact lenses are used to correct presbyopia in order to enable presbyopia individuals to see clearly again.
Vuity™’s active ingredient is a drug called Pilocarpine. Pilocarpine’s primary mechanism of action is to shrink the size of the pupil, inducing a process called miosis. With the pupil shrunken substantially, it becomes pinpoint and a pinhole effect is induced.
The “pinhole effect” is an optical concept suggesting that the smaller the pupil size, the less defocus from spherical aberrations is present. When light passes through a small pinhole or pupil, all unfocused rays are blocked, leaving only focused light to land on the retina to form a clear image. This in theory allows the individual to see clearer.
Pilocarpine has actually been around for decades, and was once a mainstay treatment for glaucoma. However, side effects such as troubling vision in dim light and frontal headaches allowed for different medications to be favored for glaucoma. Despite the new iteration of pilocarpine in the form of Vuity™, both poor vision in dim light and headaches remain potential listed side effects for the medication.
Vuity™ is instilled once daily in each eye and claims to provide benefit for the whole day. Ideal candidates for Vuity™ are those suffering from mild to moderate presbyopia, which translates to the age range of 40-55 years old. Additionally, due to the side effect of reduced vision in dim light, Vuity™ is most effective during the day time hours.
At the time of publishing this article, I have prescribed Vuity™ to over 10 patients. In an effort to approach Vuity™'s clinical effectiveness through the scientific method, I made sure that all candidates had similar prescriptions with no eye health conditions. So far, the response has been mixed. Certain patients have definitely noticed a difference and improvement in near vision, while others did not see any difference whatsoever and also noted prominent side effects.
Ultimately, time will tell how effective Vuity™ is as we continue to prescribe the medication to more and more curious patients in their 40s and 50s. If you are interested in trying Vuity™, do not hesitate to make an appointment with our office for a consultation and eye examination!
-Dr. Aaron Neufeld
Dr. Aaron Neufeld is the Chief Optometrist at Los Altos Optometric Group and primary author and editor of The EYE Digest.
To contact him with questions or make an appointment call: (650) 948-3700 or send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org