Can Eye Drops Replace Reading Glasses?

Reading glasses, whether prescription or over-the-counter, are an essential part of daily life for many adults. The need for reading glasses is growing as people get older and spend long hours on digital devices. However, a new medication can improve your near vision without glasses.

Key takeaways:

What is Presbyopia?


Presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) is a vision condition that affects your ability to focus up close as you age. Presbyopia is a normal part of aging, and nearly 80% of Americans have presbyopia by age 45 to 55.

Symptoms typically develop after age 40, which may include:

  • Blurred near vision
  • Headaches
  • Holding reading material further away
  • Eye strain
  • Double vision after reading
  • Difficulty seeing in dim lighting
  • Trouble refocusing between distance and near objects
  • Feeling tired after working at a computer

Presbyopia results from the hardening of your eye’s natural lens and weakening of the ciliary muscle. These parts control your eye’s ability to focus between near and far objects.

What are Vuity eye drops?

Vuity is the first and only eye drop approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat presbyopia. Vuity consists of pilocarpine 1.25%, which is a miotic drug. Miotic drops temporarily shrink your pupil to create a pinhole effect, which mimics your eye’s natural ability to see up close.

Pilocarpine isn’t a new medication—it’s been used as a treatment for glaucoma since the 1870s. Although newer, more effective glaucoma drugs have largely replaced pilocarpine, studies show that pilocarpine can effectively and safely treat presbyopia.

Who is a good candidate for Vuity eye drops?


Although Vuity is an excellent alternative to glasses, only some may be good candidates. Here are some key points that may help you decide whether Vuity is suitable for you.

Approved for use in patients 40 to 55 years old with presbyopia.

May be best for those who don’t have precise visual needs and can accommodate some fluctuations in their vision.

May be more effective in people with early presbyopia (lower reading prescription) than advanced presbyopia (higher reading prescription).

May not be effective or recommended if you have other eye diseases, such as cataracts or retinal detachment.

Can irritate your eyes if you have dry eye, allergies, or other ocular surface diseases.

May not be appropriate if you frequently drive at night or perform hazardous activities in dim light (such as operating heavy machinery).

It’s best to consult your eye doctor to decide about Vuity. They can also recommend alternatives like glasses, contacts, or corrective surgery.

How should I use Vuity eye drops?

Vuity is dosed once daily by placing one drop in each eye. The medication starts working in 15 minutes and lasts about 6 hours, with some residual effects up to 10 hours. You can use the drops again the next day if desired.


Vuity does not correct distance vision, so you may need to continue using glasses or contact lenses that correct your distance vision. If wearing contact lenses, wait 10 minutes after instilling Vuity to insert your contacts.

For some people, Vuity may not fully correct your near vision but can reduce your dependence on reading glasses. Others may experience excellent reading vision without any need for corrective lenses.

What side effects are associated with Vuity?

As with most drugs, there’s important safety information you should be aware of.

Common side effects are headaches and eye redness. Less than 5% of patients in studies experienced these side effects.

Do not use Vuity if you are allergic to its ingredients.

Vuity may cause temporary dark or dim vision.

Exercise caution or avoid driving at night and hazardous activities performed in dim lighting.

Vuity can cause fluctuations in vision or difficulty focusing between near and far objects.

Pilocarpine, Vuity’s active ingredient, may be associated with an increased risk for retinal detachment.


If you experience any side effects, discontinue Vuity and consult your eye doctor. If you notice sudden flashes of light, floaters, or dark spots in your vision, seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms could indicate a retinal detachment, which may cause vision loss if untreated.

Vuity eye drops are an exciting new solution for presbyopic patients. However, before you toss out those reading glasses, consult your eye doctor to see if this medication is right for you. If you’re not a candidate for Vuity, alternatives for near vision correction include glasses, contact lenses, laser eye surgery, and lens implant surgery.


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