New eye drops could replace reading glasses for millions

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first-ever eye drops to treat age-related blurry vision, potentially eliminating the need for reading glasses for millions.

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The drug, pilocarpine, sold under the brand name Vuity, was approved by the FDA in October and became available to the public on Thursday. It is aimed at helping those who have trouble seeing things close-up.

According to Allergan, the drug’s manufacturer, Vuity takes effect in about 15 minutes. One drop on each eye provides sharper vision that lasts for six to 10 hours.

According to Dr. George Waring, the principal investigator for the trial, Vuity uses the eye’s natural ability to reduce pupil size to help users’ eyes focus better and counteract the vision problem known as presbyopia.

“Reducing the pupil size expands the depth of field or the depth of focus, and that allows you to focus at different ranges naturally,” Waring told CBS News.

Previously, the treatment for presbyopia was the use of reading glasses.

According to a Vuity spokesperson, a 30-day supply of the drug will cost around $80.

While the drug has shown good results in those aged 40-55 years, it appears less effective for those over age 65 and in lowlight situations, CBS News reported. Side effects have included headaches and red eyes, Allergan reported.