Vuity is a recent FDA-approved topical eye medication to temporarily improve near and intermediate uncorrected vision in 40 and early 50-year-old people (presbyopia). The FDA trial showed that Vuity increased near and intermediate vision by about 20% compared to controls. The medication is pilocarpine which has been in ophthalmology use for over 100 years. Originally, it was developed as a glaucoma medication to lower intraocular pressure. The percentage of pilocarpine in Vuity is lower than the percentage to treat glaucoma.
Vuity works by reducing pupil size, which is a side effect of the medication. Reducing pupil size creates an optical “pinhole” effect, which extends the depth of focus temporarily. This can be mimicked by punching a small hole in a piece of paper and noticing the improvement in vision achieved. However, this comes at a price. Reducing pupil size lowers the amount of light that enters the eye. This is especially noticed in dim lighting conditions such as a restaurant or night driving.
Pilocarpine itself is associated with a myriad of potential side effects such as:
These limited its usage in ophthalmology as newer glaucoma medications were developed. These same risks should be associated with Vuity.
Vuity is a prescription medication that is not a cure for decreased near and intermediate vision in presbyopic individuals. It may be helpful in a normal 8-hour work setting as it is given only once a day.
A full eye exam is needed prior to obtaining a prescription for Vuity. Any eye pathology should deter a person from using this well-known medication and its side effects.
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