The developers of a new eye drop submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval are hoping the drops might treat a condition in aging people which affects the eyes' ability to focus on objects that are close up.
The eye drops, which have been developed by the pharmaceutical company Allergan, came about as a way to treat the symptoms of presbyopia, which is described by the Mayo Clinic as a gradual loss of the eyes' ability to focus on objects which are nearby. The condition appears to be noticeable in people by their mid-40s and can continue to increase in severity up to age 65.
Presbyopia is usually treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses or even surgery.
Dr. Robert S. Bailey, the chief of the Cataract and Primary Eye Care Service at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, told USA TODAY the condition actually starts at age 10, but patients usually don't start to notice the effects until they are in their 40s.
The new drug approval submission is based off of two randomized trials involving 750 study participants. Patients in the trials were treated with either the drug or a placebo, given one time per day for 30 days, USA Today reported after a press release from Allergan.
The drug, in its treatment of the symptoms of presbyopia, targets the lens of the eyes making pupils smaller, therefore creating a pinhole effect which increases depth of focus.
Dr. Bailey was quoted as saying, “It gives you greater depth of focus not just far away but closer as well.”
Maker AbbVie said that if approved, the yet-to-be-named eye drops, would potentially be the first eye drop used to treat presbyopia.