🔒 Insider First Look: Testing ‘Liquid Lenses’

New drops could help you put down those reading glasses. (WJXT)

Happy Thursday, News4JAX Insiders. The weekend is right around the corner!

This is your friendly neighborhood Audience Development Director, Josh. Many of you might be reading this while wearing a pair of glasses. How many of you have trouble seeing things up close? My mom has worn glasses almost her entire life but thankfully, she made me eat my carrots, so I’ve got near-perfect vision. But there might be a new product that can help you leave the readers and even contact lenses at home.

In our latest Insider First Look, Consumer Investigator Lauren Verno tested the new eye drops that might be the answer for reading glasses. Check out her story, ‘Liquid Lenses’.

Remember when you could look at your emails no problem and then seemingly overnight you had to break down and buy reading glasses? Annoying right?

Well, those glasses may be a thing of the past. The FDA approved the first and only eye drops for people who suffer from Presbyopia or blurred up close vision. They’re called Vuity.

“If I can avoid digging through my purse for my readers or first thing in the morning putting in my contact lenses, I’m going to be all for it,” said Michelle Bradley.

Bradley always had issues with her vision, but when she hit her 40′s she developed Presbyopia - the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. It’s a common issue as people get older, affecting nearly 128 million Americans.

“It’s what happens when you turn 40 and my near vision has just gone away,” said Bradley.

Which made Bradley the perfect candidate for these new drops. Vuity was approved by the FDA in December. But finding a doctor who prescribes them is still limited.

“It’s a relatively new drop so we don’t know the final outcome of this, yet. We’re in the initial stages of prescribing it,” said Dr. Curtis Schmidt, one of the doctors in Northeast Florida who does prescribe the drops.

But don’t expect insurance to cover it. The drops will cost you about $80 out of pocket. The 5 mL bottle is expected to last about a month. While the bottle is small, you only need a single drop in each eye to improve close range vision for 6-10 hours.

So, we asked Dr. Schmidt to find us a volunteer who would be a good candidate for the drops and we wanted it to be someone who has never used them before.

Which leads us back to Bradley. She wears contacts regularly, but that does not matter with these drops. The company says if you take them out before putting in the drops, it’s perfectly safe to use. After removing her contact lenses, Bradley graciously let us record the experience of using these drops for the first time. We watched as Dr. Schmidt put one drop in each eye.

“I did not feel any stinging. I feel no stinging at all, which I’m shocked,” said Bradley.

Now because the drops are only meant to fix blurry near vision, the manufacturer said it will not fix any other eye issues you may have. For Bradley, that means still needing to put in her other contacts for distance issues. Dr. Schmidt says you can put your contact lenses back in safely about 15 minutes after the drops go in. And within minutes, Bradley started to notice results.

“This is definitely an improvement. I couldn’t see the second line before I put my contacts in like a minute ago. I didn’t know what to expect, so, I’m a little surprised,” she said.

We wanted to get another medical expert’s opinion.

Dr. Arun Gulani says the science behind the drops has been around for decades. He explained the prescription eye drops only come with minor side effects.

“Short term I would say redness of the eyes and headache at the most,” said Dr. Gulani.

Which Bradley says is not enough to keep her from using these drops again.

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