Eye drop solutions have come a long way. Not only can we reduce redness, hydrate and get the clear eyes we’ve come to expect with common drugstore eye drops, options for perfecting how our eyes look and see have broadened the possibilities of eye rejuvenation one aesthetically pleasing drop at a time. Here, top aesthetic eye surgeons break down what each of these new, novel drops can do and who they can benefit most.
The Instant Brightener
Lumify Drops ($12) act like a photo filter in real life, giving the whites of your eyes the brightest, most sparkling appearance. “Sometimes not discussed is the aging effect on the eyes that do not have that striking contrast between the color of the to the adjacent white sclera,” explains Boca Raton, FL oculoplastic surgeon Steven Fagien, MD. “The conjunctiva layer of tissue on the surface can become red or even dusky in appearance with age.” Dr. Fagien says the Brimonidine Tartrate in Lumify’s formula, which he notes is both safe and effective, reduces or “constricts” the size of the blood vessels around the visible white area around the eye, giving it a whiter, brighter look.
The “Temporary Eyelift”
“Upneeq is a prescription eyedrop made of oxymetazoline, the active ingredient in Afrin,” explains Woodbury, NY oculoplastic surgeon David Schlessinger, MD. Used to treat ptosis, or upper eyelid drooping. Dr. Schlessinger says the drops work by activating receptors in the upper eyelid muscle. “When the muscle contracts, the upper eyelid can lift by about 2mm, giving a more open, alert look for hours.” While they are safe and easy to use, Dr. Schlessinger stresses they cannot improve the excess skin or fatty tissue of the eyelids. “In some cases, ptosis can be a sign of a serious neurologic disease. It is important that any case of ptosis be evaluated by an oculopastic surgeon prior to being prescribed this eye drop.”
The “Ditch Your Glasses” Drops
Used to reduce blurry vision, the recently FDA-approved Vuity is a drop that can help eliminate the need for glasses for the short sighted. “This is the first FDA-approved drop to treat blurry vision related to age far-sightedness also known as presbyopia,” explains New York City oculoplastic surgeon Irene Gladstein, MD. “The drops work by temporarily narrowing the size of the pupil thus improving visual acuity up close. This is a great option to patients with mild presbyopia and is an alternative to wearing reading glasses or bifocal contact lenses.”
One possible side effect that Dr. Schlessinger notes is a dimming of vision, especially in dimly lit places: “It can also cause headaches and eye discomfort. People wanting to try this drop need to be evaluated by an eye doctor to ensure it’s safe and effective to use.”
“The reality is that none of these drugs should be over-used or abused and are always best to be used ‘as needed’ rather than routinely to reduce any side effects or potential long-term rare consequences,” adds Dr. Fagien.