What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is the inability to focus on objects at near or intermediate distances. It typically develops around age 40 and is caused by loss of the eye’s accommodative ability that occurs because of a progressive, age-related increase in stiffness of the crystalline lens.1,2 Estimated to affect more than 110 million adults in the United States, presbyopia impairs vision-related quality of life, and its adverse effect is amplified in today’s world where so many people are spending a greater number of hours in the day working at a computer or looking at a smartphone.1-3
Today, clinicians treat presbyopia with reading glasses, prescription glasses (with bifocal or progressive lenses), multifocal contact lenses, and contact lens monovision. Alternatively, there are surgical approaches designed to correct presbyopia including corneal inlays, lens replacement surgery with implantation of a presbyopia-correcting intraocular lens, or laser-based corneal refractive surgery. All these options have limitations.2.
Current presbyopia treatments require the patient to accept some compromises in the quality and flexibility of vision offered at different distances.4 Reading glasses are inconvenient and often misplaced or lost. Contact lens wear is accompanied by a risk for infection and involves frequent replacement or care strategies that build cost over time. Additionally, not all individuals can tolerate contact lenses, and discomfort with contact lens wear can be a particular problem for the presbyopia population due to an age-related increase in dry eye disease and reduced manual dexterity.5 Surgery also carries risks of infection and other complications and adverse events, including unwanted visual symptoms and loss of distance vision.4,5
Vyluma is developing topical eyedrops, NVK029, for the treatment of presbyopia as an alternative to existing intervention options. A phase II dose confirmation study for NVK029 is planned to evaluate the effect of NVK029 on improving mesopic near visual acuity with or without distance correction.