This is a potentially huge development in the eye care world!

Many patients dread that "b word"  (bifocal) when they reach 40 and find themselves holding reading material farther out than they used to.  They think of bifocals as something their parents or grandparents wore, or know friends who may have had some difficulty adjusting to their new glasses.  While great advances in lens technology have eased this process, most people don't exactly look forward to it.

What causes this near vision change?  In a nutshell, it's related to age.  There's a natural lens located inside the eye that flexes, allowing us to change focus from distance to near.  As we age, proteins within the cells inside the lens start forming bonds, which make it lose flexibility.  When the lens can't flex, you can't change focus.  There are other components to this near vision change, but this is the one targeted by Encore Vision.

Encore is a privately held pharmaceutical company with a mission to develop alternative treatments for presbyopia (other than glasses).  On May 2nd they announced that they have met initial requirements by the FDA for safety and efficacy in their Proof of Concept Study.  Their eyedrop works to break those bonds that form between the proteins, softening the lens and allowing it to regain flexibility.

While the exact results of the study haven't been released, and full effect still needs to be determined in a broader study, researchers are greatly encouraged by the results from the early studies.  The drop appears to be just as safe as a placebo, and caused "significant improvement" in near vision beginning in a period of about 2 weeks and continuing through the 90 day study.

This is the first study of its kind, and one we will be watching very closely!



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