Various methods can correct presbyopia, but all require devices or surgeries. Recently, supplements or warming devices to relieve presbyopic symptoms have been developed, but no eye drops have been developed. We screened certain compounds possibly related to lens degeneration and identified pirenoxine, which has been used for cataracts, as a possible new pharmacologic treatment for presbyopia. We first researched the anti-presbyopic activity of pirenoxine in rats. The lens elasticity significantly (p = 0.028) increased with exposure to tobacco smoke for 12 days, and pirenoxine eye drops significantly (p < 0.001) suppressed lens hardening, which causes presbyopia in humans. In a parallel randomized controlled clinical study of the subjects in their fifth decade of life, the objective accommodative amplitude (AA) decreased significantly (p < 0.01) by 0.16 diopter (D) in the control group, and there was no detectable change in the treatment group after a 6-month treatment period, suggesting that pirenoxine eye drops might prevent progression of presbyopia. Subjects in their sixth decade of life, in whom the AA was already nearly 0 D, did not show similar results. Pirenoxine eye drops might be a new and the first pharmacologic treatment for preventing progression of presbyopia.
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