FDA Approves New Eye Drops that Could Replace Glasses for Millions

FDA Approves New Eye Drops that Could Replace Glasses for Millions

The drops are the first of their kind, according to a report by CBS News, and are designed to be a remedy for the medical condition known as “presbyopia,” which is farsightedness caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye. The drops perform one simple task: allowing the pupil of the eye to become narrower. Dr. George Waring, the principal investigator for the drops’ trial, says this change can fix the problem for most people who experience blurriness when examining objects that are close to them. “Reducing the pupil size expands the depth of field or the depth of focus, and that allows you to focus at different ranges naturally,” he said, according to CBS.

FDA Approves New Eye Drops that Could Replace Glasses for Millions

The company that makes the drops, AbbVie subsidiary Allergan, says they take about 15 minutes to take effect, and then last for six to 10 hours, which is enough for a solid day of typing away at a keyboard. The actual drops themselves are made from pilocarpine HCl ophthalmic solution, rated at 1.25%. According to the Pharmaceutical Business website, the eye drop is an optimized formulation of pilocarpine, which is an established eye care therapy. Since it has been granted FDA approval following its trial phase, it should be available by prescription in pharmacies.

According to Allergen, a 30-day supply of the drops will cost $80, and side effects include red eyes and headaches. The company also advises against using them when operating machinery in low light, such as when driving at night. There is one catch though: it’s not covered by insurance, and doctors who spoke to CBS said it likely never will be, simply because glasses are less expensive and the drops aren’t a “medical necessity.”

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