Presbyopia Correction Drops Set To Expand Toolbox

Biography: Johnston is the Clinical and Residency Director at Georgia Eye Partners in Atlanta.

Disclosures: Johnston indicates that he is a consultant for Alcon, Allergan, Bio-Tissue, Johnson & Johnson Vision and Shire.


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A pharmaceutical approach to presbyopia has obvious advantages, is likely to be used in combination with other approaches, and can be used to guide surgical procedures.

As primary eye care providers, we support pediatric patients throughout the geriatric age. It is important that we stay abreast of the latest advancements and understand the various refractive options available now and on the horizon – from myopia control treatments and presbyopia correcting drops to state-of-the-art IOLs and everything else. rest.

As we look into the near future, pharmaceuticals correcting presbyopia look set to be the next huge wave, and the industry and the public will look to optometry to take the lead. This addition to the toolkit will serve to “pollinate” with refractive surgery and cataract surgery, helping to drive surgical use and ultimately uptake of high-end implants.

Gap in solutions, awareness

Josh Johnston, DO, FAAO

Josh johnston

Between glasses, contact lenses, and surgery, there is a gap in effective treatment options for presbyopia, especially for people in their 40s and 50s. In fact, presbyopic youth often believe there is a problem with their vision when they first notice presbyopic changes. A recent survey of 1,339 presbyopic patients divided into three groups found that 20% of the youngest group were worried when they first noticed symptoms, 32% thought their symptoms were due to fatigue, and 26 % worried that something was wrong with their eyes (Ipsos).

In addition to the lack of awareness of presbyopia, the same survey found that 90% were “frustrated or irritated” by presbyopia. While 62% of them had seen an eye care professional in the past year, only half of them received information they thought they needed about presbyopia, and only 15% received counseling. printed information.

It is clear that we have the opportunity to have more meaningful conversations with our patients about their presbyopic changes and treatment options. We can reassure them that we are here to help them get through this transition period and that when they are ready they can consider permanent surgical approaches to presbyopia, such as exchanging refractive lenses with technology IOLs. point.

The gap between when a patient sees an optometrist and then an ophthalmologist for cataract surgery is a significant issue, noted MK Raheja, Head of Surgical Vision Research & Development at Johnson & Johnson Vision at the recent Presbyopia Innovation Showcase at the Ophthalmic Innovation Summit.

“It’s 15, 20 years where sometimes this discussion fails,” he said. “How do we capture our patients there and how do we educate them? Drops can fill the gap.

Presbyopes are coming

To put the impact of presbyopia into perspective, here are some statistics: there are 128 million people with presbyopia in the United States (Care of the Patient with Presbyopia; Zebardast et al; US Census Bureau) and 1.8 billion in the United States. world (Fricke et al). The aging of the population is only part of the story, however. The increase in screen time has accelerated the development of symptoms and the visual demands of our patients continue to increase. American adults spend over 11 hours a day watching, reading, listening to, or interacting with the media (MarketWatch website; Neilsen Company website). We check our phones 96 times a day – once every 10 minutes (Asurion). In total, American adults spend 3 hours and 48 minutes a day on computers, tablets and smartphones.

Several companies are studying pharmaceutical methods to correct presbyopia, with Allergan, an AbbVie company and Orasis Pharmaceuticals as examples of two that have agents in Phase 3 clinical trials. We owe it to our patients to stay connected to the drug pipeline and to d ‘devices so that we can take the lead in educating about refractive options no matter where patients are in their visual journey.

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