Eye Drops for Better Reading

Vuity (pilocarpine 1.25%) is an eye drop that can help people over 40 to see better at close-up without using reading glasses or progressive glasses. Most patients rate the improvement as moderate. Vuity requires a prescription from a doctor. The cost for the drop is around $80 per month and is not covered by vision or health insurance.

Just like the lens in a camera, which changes shape as you change the focus from a distant subject to a close-up subject, the lens in the eye must change shape to focus clearly on near objects. The problem that occurs around the age of 40-45 is that the inner lens of the eye becomes less flexible and will not change shape as easily as when we are younger. 

Most people use close-up glasses, or progressive glasses, to solve this problem. 

Alternatively, many people adjust one eye for distance vision and the other eye for close-up, which is called blended vision or monovision. Blended vision sounds strange to those who do not know about it, but it is very easy to show what it is like during an office visit. A surprising number of people find blended vision to be very useful. Blended vision can be achieved with contact lenses or with Lasik laser vision correction.

Vuity is taken once per day, preferably in the morning. Vuity makes the pupil size temporarily smaller. A smaller pupil is better able to focus the light from both distance and near objects. Vuity will help some, but not all people, avoid the need for reading glasses for up to 8-10 hours.

Because the pupil will not enlarge when you go into the dark, it is more difficult to see when you suddenly enter darker areas, such as parking lots. Driving at night can be dangerous if the drop is still working.

This medication may cause a headache during the first few times that it is used. Some people also get eye irritation from the drop.

In rare situations, Vuity can cause a retinal detachment, which can result in a loss of vision. Although this is very rare, it is possible. To lessen this possibility, we must perform a dilated eye exam prior to prescribing this medication.