ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — More than 128 million Americans deal with the hassle of reading glasses. But now, new FDA-approved eye drops may allow these people to get rid of their reading glasses for good. Ivanhoe has the details.
A restaurant menu, the newspaper, even the instructions on your prescription bottle … have the words been getting smaller or blurrier, or do you need reading glasses?
“Most patients tend to report between the ages of 40 and 45,” shared ophthalmologist Michael Manning, MD, FACS.
As we age, some people may develop presbyopia, or the gradual loss of the eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. Millions of people use over-the-counter reading glasses to treat their presbyopia, but now researchers say an eye drop called AGN-190584 may replace the need for these reading glasses. The eye drop treats the symptoms of the condition by targeting the eyes’ lens.
“The way they go about this is constricting or making our pupils smaller, which creates a depth of field effect to give enhanced near vision,” continued Dr. Manning.
In a trial, participants said the eye drop worked as soon as 15 minutes after it was applied and reached its peak effectiveness in an hour. However, the eye drop is not a one-time treatment and will have to be applied daily as needed.
The eye drop was just FDA approved in October 2021. Side effects were rare, but included headaches, red eyes, blurred vision, and some eye pain.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.
EYE DROPS TO IMPROVE VISION?
BACKGROUND: A normal part of aging is when your eyes gradually lose the ability to see things clearly up close. This is known as presbyopia. The term comes from a Greek word meaning “old eye.” Presbyopia is usually noticed shortly after age 40. When you are young, the eye lens is soft and flexible, easily changing shape which lets you focus on objects both close-up and far away. After age 40, the lens becomes more rigid and cannot change shape as easily making it harder to read, thread a needle, or do other close-up tasks. There is no way to halt or reverse the normal aging process that causes presbyopia. However, it can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. People who have trouble seeing both near and far may benefit from progressive lenses. If you do not correct presbyopia, you may be bothered by headaches and eye strain.
SYMPTOMS AND RISKS: The most common symptoms of presbyopia are a gradual deterioration in the ability to read or do work up close; having difficulty reading small print; having fatigue from doing close work; needing brighter lighting when reading or doing close work; needing to hold reading material at an arm’s distance to focus properly on it; problems seeing and focusing on objects that are close to you; and squinting. Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is a condition that has symptoms like presbyopia. However, they’re two different disorders. In both conditions, distant objects are clear, but closer objects appear blurry. Hyperopia is a refractive error that’s present at birth. It is possible to have hyperopia and then develop presbyopia with age. If you notice the symptoms of presbyopia at an age earlier than the normal onset, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Some higher risk symptoms are anemia; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; multiple sclerosis; myasthenia gravis; eye trauma or disease; and vascular insufficiency, or poor blood flow.
NEW CORRECTING-DROPS FOR PRESBYOPIA: New presbyopia-correcting drops may help treat the more than 128 million Americans with presbyopia. George O. Waring, IV, MD, founder and medical director, Waring Vision Institute in South Carolina says, “We are on the doorstep now of having topical drops, of which there are multiple in the developmental pipeline with varying mechanisms of action [MOA], for the treatment of presbyopia.” The two main MOAs being investigated are miotics, which leverage the pinhole effect to increase the depth of field, and lens softening, based on the assumption that lens stiffening and loss of flexibility are presbyopia’s main causes. Other considerations include the time to onset of action, duration of effect and the use of preservatives. Allergan submitted AGN-190584 to the FDA based on data from two Phase 3 studies evaluating efficacy, safety and tolerability of its proprietary formulation of pilocarpine 1.25%. “The docket has been submitted, and, if approved, this would be the first to market topical therapy for the treatment of presbyopia in the United States,” says Dr. Waring.
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Audra Friis, Public Relations
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