Optometrist Reviews Vuity Eye Drop

Seattle Optometrist Reviews Vuity Eye Drop

Have you noticed a decrease in your ability to read or see your phone with your distance glasses on?  Presbyopia is a loss of near vision we all start to experience in our 40s and 50s. Now there is an eye drop called Vuity to help with the resulting near blur. In this blog post about the new in 2022 prescription medication an optometrist reviews Vuity eye drops. Read on to learn about how this exciting new product works and why you might (or might not) want to try it.


Vuity Eye Drops in downtown Seattle


You may also be able to get a sample of Vuity dye drops from your local optometrist or ophthalmologist. We at Cannon EyeCare think that Allergan’s parent company AbbVie is about to start a major advertising campaign in March 2022, and their reps are trying to get lots of samples into doctors’ offices nationwide for the anticipated high demand. The samples are a generous 1.5ml –(the Rx size is 2.5ml) and an eye exam will be required.  The large sample size will allow patients to sort out if they like it or not.

If you don’t like the sample of Vuity eye drops for whatever reason, you can stop using it. It’s that simple.

Why does presbyopia cause near blur?

As we age, the natural lens inside of our eyes gets thicker and less flexible, causing a loss of ability to focus our eyes up close. This gradual loss of our ability to see fine print, etc. starts in our 40s and progresses until we have no remaining ability to focus up close at about age 65. Given the guidance from the manufacturer based on their extensive research to get FDA approval, I anticipate Rxing this drop for patients age 40-55. It won’t likely work as well for those over 55, and patients under 40 won’t be in need of Vuity. Official guidance indicates that Vuity is helpful for those who have an add power on their Glasses Rx of up to +2, but this guidance assumes that the distance prescription is accurate. Good optometrists can be found at AOA.org as well as on Yelp and Google.

How does Vuity help patients cope with Presbyopia?

Vuity constricts your pupil, making it considerably smaller. This, in turn, increases your depth of field. Depth of field is a concept that describes how much of what you are seeing is in focus at once. Vuity will shrink the diameter your pupil, creating what is known as a pinhole effect. Having a smaller pupil means that more of what you are seeing is in focus. Thus, less near blur. For some of us, this can translate into a lower dependence on glasses while you’re on the Vuity drops.

Eye Doctor Review of Vuity

As a 47-year old eye doctor who started writing this blog without glasses and then took my first and only drop of Vuity in each eye today, I can report that it is helping me see my screen well. I’m still not wearing my glasses, but I see better up close and I’m not noticing any distance blur. Nor do I have any other potential listed side effects, but we are all different. Your experience may vary.

The recommended dosage of Vuity eye drops is one drop in each eye once daily, but many patients will use it occasionally. Patients typically experience sharper near vision within 15 minutes of instillation. The improvements in near vision (and any related side effects) are temporary and typically wear off in 4-6 hours. This the potential need for a second dose, which in theory should be safe but may increase the likelihood of side effects. Now that we are talking about putting in drops, I’ve got to address one thing.

These drops do sting a bit. I, Mark J Cannon, an optometrist with sensitive eyes and some perspective on these things, describe the burning sensation as mild at first, then moderate and lasting 20-30 seconds after instillation. This level of discomfort is WAY better than any previous medicine containing this medicine’s active ingredient, Pilocarpine. As noted, I had some short-lived sting that was mild to moderate. Redness was not an issue for me personally.

No medicine’s review would be complete without a discussion of known / potential side effects. No drug is perfect because they all have side effects, which, for Vuity eye drops includes:

  • A brow ache or sensations similar to eye strain
  • Some even have reported headaches but it’s rare
  • Mild to moderate redness in some patients
  • Depending on several variables such as your glasses Rx, some patients may experience reduced distance vision, though most will not. It’s important to avoid driving if you notice this one.
  • Similarly, you may notice changes to your ability to change focus from far to near and back again (this, like the blur and eyestrain above, is expected to resolve after ~6 hours)
  • It is also possible that you may experience an apparent dimming of ambient lighting, but this is much more likely if the drug is over-used.  Still, use caution when driving at night, etc.

Contact lens users can use Vuity, but you need to remove them prior to putting Vuity drops in. The soonest they should be put back in after using this medicine is 10 min. Patients with active iritis or significant risk of retinal detachment/tear should avoid this drug. If you are inclined to read more, check out the recently published GEMINI-1 trial, published in JAMA, the Journal of the America Medical Association.

If you have trouble seeing up close due to presbyopia, most people need reading glasses or progressive / bifocal glasses. Vuity may allow some flexibility on when you need glasses. One of Dr. Mark’s first patients to try Vuity is an orthopedic surgeon named Mike Battaglia, MD. Dr. Mike recently came back for a follow up and stated that despite being 58 years old and being a +1 hyperope, he has been able to go glasses-free on several dates lately. Yet he still wears glasses for work and other visually demanding tasks.

Dr. Mike and your author Dr. Mark Cannon both played around with frequency of dosing, and both of us had side effects such as a brow ache and dimming of ambient lighting ONLY when we used more than one drop per eye per day. Neither of us experienced unpleasant side effects (aside from the sting for ~30 seconds) when using Vuity eye drops as directed.

Most pharmacies now have Vuity or can order it. Cannon EyeCare in Seattle has free samples available for our patients with a recent eye exam. A dilated eye exam with refraction may be required based on the details of your case.  FYI, you may also need a follow-up visit at the doctor’s discretion.

First announced by Allergan on October 29, 2021, Vuity eye drops for reading vision are available now. Most pharmacies and some optometry offices started selling them in early 2022. At the time of this update (December 2022) our doctors know of no insurance panels that cover it.  In fact, our doctor’s think that Vuity is a product that might not ever be covered by insurance. This is because as annoying as near blur is, it’s technically not a health issue. The code doctors use to bill for presbyopia is a ‘vision code’. Vision insurance only helps out with glasses and maybe contacts; not medicines.

So, this brings us to the cost of Vuity drops. Your price may vary of course, but according to Good Rx the best local pricing in Seattle, WA in early March 2022 is about $83 for the 2.5ml bottle. FYI, 2.5ml measures out to about 50 drops or a 25-day supply. Here’s the cool thing about this new drug for near blur on computers, phones, etc.: you can use it when you want it. There’s no harm in using it occasionally or in certain situations. This flexibility means one bottle might last you quite a while.

~Mark J Cannon, OD

Practice Manager of Cannon EyeCare in Seattle