No, the words on paper or the screen have not become smaller over the years. If you are over the age of 40, you like many people, have presbyopia. While presbyopia is a normal part of aging, it can be a pain when a person can’t focus on words on a page or other near work. While there are corrective lenses, be it reading glasses or bifocal glasses, currently there are other options to improve vision. They include specialized contact lenses and eye drops.
Specialized Contact Lenses
Many long-time contact lens wearers give up on contacts and switch to glasses once they are in their mid 40s due to the limitation of contacts lenses in the area of near to intermediate vision. Now there is something for those over 40 who want to continue wearing contacts.
Lentechs, a clinical-stage ophthalmic medical device company, recently announced that patients have been enrolled in two clinical trials for its APIOC ™ contact lenses. These lenses were developed by Ohio State University College of Optometry Professor Melissa D. Bailey, OD, PhD, and Professor Emeritus Joseph T. Barr, OD, MS and they are also founders of Lentechs. These lenses are unique in that they allow for free eye movement behind a rotationally stable lens that is suspended behind the upper eyelid. This allows a person to adjust their gaze by moving their eye up and down behind the lens for vision correction at all distances.
In developing the lenses, Dr. Bailey found that it was the upper lid that did all the work by holding the lens in place. So, she and Dr. Barr had to redesign the lens so that it would do its job, since the conventional wisdom states that the lower lid was the workhorse in pushing up on the lens. Since the upper lid holds the lens in place, the person looks through the center of the lens in a straight gaze for distance and as the eye turns down for intermediate or near vision the lens stays up.
The two clinical trials will provide visual acuity and comfort information to eye doctors and other eye care professionals. The LENS 101 study plans to show how APIOC ™’s unique mechanism will bridge the gap between the 70 percent of those with presbyopia who want to wear contacts and the 14 percent who do so. The LENS 102 study will look at the lenses’ effectiveness for astigmatism.
Eye Drops for Presbyopia
Let’s say you have eyes like hawk. Then you hit your mid 40s and while you can see things a mile away, reading a book or a newspaper isn’t as simple as it used to be. The options are limited to bifocal glasses or surgical procedures like excimer laser ablation or multifocal or accommodating intraocular lens implantation. That is until recently. There are various companies that have developed eye drops that correct presbyopia.
These drops come in two categories, miotic drops and lens restoration drops. The miotic drops constrict the pupil which induces a pinhole effect and increasing the person’s natural depth of field. These drops enhance near vision due to the greater depth of focus. One company, Presbyopia Therapies developed drops that improve near vision through increased depth of focus. The drops work within 30 minutes, last for 4 hours and it is to be used in both eyes. Another company Orasis Pharmaceutical developed a drop that is combined with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug in an oil-based formula that reduces discomfort caused by ciliary spasms and reduces the risk of uveitis. Like the Presbyopia Therapies drop, it is to be used in both eyes. Improvements in vision included a 3 line improvement in near vision and no reduction in distance vision.
Thanks to the work of researchers, getting old is less of drag because there are ways to successfully treat presbyopia. Now if there was only a way to prevent wrinkles and gray hair from occurring.