A new drug called VUITY™ (pilocarpine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) has recently gained attention as an eye drop that can improve near (close up) vision in individuals over 40. It does not, however, change the condition of the retina. The drug, made by Allergan, works as advertised, but it should not be expected to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Vuity™ is available by prescription to treat only presbyopia. Presbyopia is common in aging eyes, resulting in stiffening of the eye’s lens and making natural focusing difficult. Reading glasses can help, but eyes with central vision loss from AMD will not benefit from either glasses or Vuity™. Vuity™ works by lessening the size of the eye’s pupil, making it easier to focus on near objects or text. This creates a kind of pinhole effect, which patients may remember as one way doctors test visual acuity. This effect may also be achieved by peering through a pinhole in an index card.
If in doubt, patients should consult with their doctors for advice about whether Vuity™ will be appropriate for them.