Eye Drops That Could Replace Reading Glasses For Millions Are Now FDA-Approved

Do you wear glasses or contact lenses?

Statistically, you probably do.

Glasses wearers know that it's often a hassle: lenses get smudged, fogged up and scratched, and ultimately need to be replaced as prescriptions changed.

Thanks to new research, all of that might be solved with a simple eye drop.

How do you fix vision?

Unsplash | Perchek Industrie

Well, the obvious answer is corrective lenses.

If you don't want to go that route, laser surgery is an option, but there are some serious caveats: it isn't available for everyone, it's expensive, and there are occasional nasty side effects.

Enter Vuity eye drops.

Unsplash | Towfiqu barbhuiya

The eye drops cause pupils to constrict, which can improve vision for a limited time — up to six hours of improved clarity.

750 people took part in a clinical trial to test the new eye drops.

The trial participants saw some positive results.

Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

"It's definitely a life changer," said trial participant Toni Wright.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Vuity for use back in October. It's set to hit the market for the general population this week.

The drops work best for middle-aged people.

Unsplash | v2osk

According to Vuity, the drops will yield the best results in people between the ages of 40 and 55.

This is the age group that was studied during the two clinical trials for the drops.

How do they work?

The drops cause the pupil to constrict, which boosts its ability to focus. Fifteen minutes or so after the drops are administered, the eyes should be able to make out more lines on a reading chart than they could before.

They aren't cheap.

Unsplash | Giorgio Trovato

The drops, which are prescription-only and aren't currently covered by any insurance provider, are set to be used once per day. A 30-day supply will costs about $80, which works out to close to a thousand dollars per year.

They aren't a fix-all.

Unsplash | Ocean Ng

As detailed earlier, the eye drops work, but not permanently. After six hours at most, their efficacy will start to wear off.

The manufacturer also cautions against using them to improve vision for any night driving or low-light conditions.

There were some side effects.

Unsplash | Dasha Yukhymyuk

Some trial participants experienced red eyes and headaches. More specifically, some also reported difficulty in changing their focus between different objects.

Still, it's worth noting that side effects are common in most medications, and that these are relatively minor.

Will they be a success?

Unsplash | Vanessa Bumbeers

Only time will tell. The eye drops seem revolutionary, and offer folks with reduced vision an option that doesn't involve corrective lenses or laser surgery.

With their release this week, we'll see if they become popular.

Would you go for these eye drops?

Pexels | Yaroslav Shuraev

Caveats aside — ideal age range, limited duration, cost and potential side effects — what do you think of the idea of eye drops to solve vision problems? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

Filed Under: