Future Forecast: Presbyopia-Correcting Drops in the Treatment Pipeline?
With the number of patients with presbyopia growing at a fast rate presents opportunities for optometrists and ophthalmologists to approach treatment now as well as get excited about treatment options that are in the works. We asked Ralph Chu, MD, founder and director of Chu Vision Institute in Bloomington, MN, and Selina McGee, OD, founder of Precision Vision Edmond in Edmond, OK, to share some of the treatment options they see coming.
1. What gaps in current presbyopia treatment do you see these new therapies filling?
Dr. Ralph Chu: From scleral expansion to new IOLs, one of the most exciting developments we’re seeing is the presbyopia-correcting drops. The largest unmet need is a bridging technology that will allow for early-to-moderate presbyopia to achieve improved uncorrected near vision without sacrificing distance vision before the patient needs more invasive lens-based surgery. In my opinion, presbyopia-correcting drops can help fill this gap.
Dr. Selina McGee: I agree. Even with the best technologies we currently have—whether it’s lenses, contact lenses, or surgical implant lenses—patients want more options. Having a drop that can help patients when they are frustrated with their near vision and our current modalities is very exciting!
2. What excites you most about these new therapies, and how do you see them affecting your patients and practice?
Dr. McGee: I’m so excited for the presbyopia-correcting drops, especially in the emmetropic patient with mild-to-moderate presbyopia. Those patients are typically the most frustrated. The drops will also be really exciting for our contact lens patients with mild to moderate presbyopia, and patients who aren’t good candidates for surgical options. Honestly, the list just goes on and on. When we have more options, such as the drops, we can best help patients customize their solution to fit their lifestyle. I can’t wait for this technology (nor can our patients)!
Dr. Chu: I see these new therapies igniting the presbyopia conversation, whether it’s between the patient and their doctor or amongst their friends and families. Presbyopia awareness will grow, and the interest in eliminating the need for readers will become greater. A safe, non-invasive treatment will drive this interest. New technologies and therapies that improve vision and outcomes will continue to expand the market and create significant opportunities for practices to see more patients and for more patients to see better.