Correcting presbyopia may eventually be as simple as instilling a daily eye drop, according to a presentation during the New Technologies symposium at this year’s ASCRS Annual Meeting in Boston.
The investigational eye drop, which is currently known as “Liquid Vision, the Reading Eye Drop,” induces a miotic effect on the pupil that lasts approximately eight hours after instillation, its developers say. By constricting the pupil and creating a pinhole effect, the drops help to improve near-vision performance.
According to eyewiretoday.com, researchers introduced a video of an optometrist who described his personal experience with the drops. The 55-year-old subject in question stated that he wore a +2.00D monovision contact lens and had difficulty reading up close without this lens.
Upon instillation of the drop, the report states, his pupil contracted from 4mm in ambient light to just 1.6mm. Thirty minutes after instilling the drop, he demonstrated the ability to read a document typed in 10-point font at a distance of 12 inches.
Prior to use, he struggled to read the same document at arm’s length. Additionally, he mentioned his ability to drive, read electronic medical records and see his dashboard better when using the eye drops.
“On the positive side, clinical evidence shows an improvement of acuity with changes in pupil size as demonstrated by pinhole effects,” says Joseph P. Shovlin, OD. However, he cautions that “one concern might be the limitations with a pupil that’s too small for some patients,” adding that clinicians will need to fully understand the intricacies of the new pharmaceutical agent, if it should come to market.
Corneal inlays that induce a pinhole effect correct near vision in a similar manner, but require an elective surgical procedure. This eye drop would likely offer a more affordable and reversible option, though one that requires patient compliance with the regimen to maintain efficacy.
While the drops are still in development, Dr. Shovlin looks forward to the potential future application of such a treatment. “It’s exciting to think about an option that’s reversible, doesn’t permanently alter the lens or cornea through surgical means, and apparently has fewer aberration-causing distortions except for possible diffraction effects,” he says. Comparisons with corrective lens options for presbyopia would also be eagerly anticipated by eye care practitioners.