Get Younger Looking Eyes Without Surgery Thanks To This New FDA-Approved Solution
This is truly eye-opening.
Nothing ruins a good day like someone saying, “You look tired.” There’s no recovering from a statement like that, especially when you’ve had a full night’s rest. Generally, these types of comments are a direct response to how awake and open our eyes look. If your eyelids appear droopy, or if you’ve noticed that you can’t see your entire iris anymore, you may be dealing with more than lack of sleep. You may, in fact, have a condition known as acquired ptosis, which can be treated with a new, cutting-edge eye drop. No scalpel required.
What Is Acquired Ptosis?
Acquired ptosis, or low-lying lids, is a common condition that impacts millions of adults in their 40s and 50s, and sometimes younger individuals as well. Over time, the eyelid muscles stretch or weaken, which causes the upper eyelid to droop. Many things contribute to acquired ptosis, including cataract surgery and some underlying medical conditions, so consult with your doctor because some serious conditions also cause droopiness.
Researchers have also determined that, “Hard contact lens wearers [have] a 20 times increased risk of ptosis,” and additional studies, including one specifically focusing on the under-35 population of soft contact lens wearers, revealed acquired ptosis with no links to other causes, such as trauma. According to Board Certified Aesthetic Reconstructive and Oculoplastic Surgeon Dr. Raymond Douglas, MD, PhD, “Contact lens wear can lead to acquired ptosis; more so with hard contact lenses, but if you are a longtime wearer of contact lenses (years), you may have acquired ptosis as you may stretch the eyelid to insert and remove your contacts.”
An Eyelid Lift Without Surgery
Given the choice, most people would opt for non-surgical procedures if they could rectify problems completely, but some patients have had to live with ptosis, especially mild cases, because doctors don’t always think surgery will improve their vision substantially. Upneeq®, a once daily, prescription eyedrop, is changing that and improving patients’ upper field of vision in as little as two hours. In clinical studies, the “average upper eyelid lift with Upneeq® was 1 mm.” That may not sound like a lot until you consider the fact that most people only have a 3–4 mm opening to begin with, so a 1 mm improvement is significant and can greatly reduce the need to strain to see. And Upneeq® can also improve facial symmetry for patients who have drooping in just one eye since the drops don’t need to be applied to both eyes.
The Upneeq® Solution
Before you start kicking yourself for not knowing about the eyelid-lifting wonder that is the first of its kind to garner FDA-approval for treating acquired ptosis, it’s in its infancy and just began rolling out to healthcare providers last year. The active ingredient in Upneeq® is oxymetazoline hydrochloride, which Dr. Douglas says, “has been studied for decades, and Upneeq® was studied for about four years before [receiving] FDA-approval.” Oxymetazoline functions as a decongestant in Afrin nasal spray and was once used in Visine at a lower concentration.
During clinical trials, Upneeq® aimed to improve a patient’s vision by stimulating the alpha-adrenergic receptors in the eye’s Müller muscles, causing them to contract and lift the eyelid. In the company’s 2020 press release, they revealed that, “Patients who received Upneeq® once daily experienced a statistically significant improvement in visual field when compared to the placebo group.” How significant? 87.8% of patients with mild, moderate, or severe acquired ptosis had immediate improvement, and “40.8% of patients had at least a 50% improvement on Day 14.”
Fixed Pricing and No Need to Submit to Insurance
One of the unique aspects about Upneeq® is the company’s decision to create a standalone pharmacy to manufacture and distribute the product directly to consumers. Instead of submitting a prescription and awaiting insurance approval, patients order the eye drops exclusively from RVL Pharmaceuticals. According to Brian Markison, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Osmotica, RVL’s parent company, “RVL is a purpose-built organization focused on delivering phenomenal customer service.” A 30-day supply costs $105 and is mailed directly to your home. The price is the same for everyone, and if Upneeq® proves to be beneficial for you, RVL offers a reduced rate of $75 per month with a three-month purchase.
How to Know If You’re a Candidate
If your eyelids look droopy, you may not need a traditional blepharoplasty to surgically improve them. “The best way to tell [if Upneeq® is right for you] is to look at the skin on the eyelid,” says Dr. Douglas. “If skin overhangs the eyelashes, it’s a skin issue or hooded lid. If the lid is lower, but the skin doesn’t overhang the eyelash, it is most likely a weak or stretched muscle.” In his practice, Dr. Douglas sometimes starts patients on Upneeq® before recommending a surgical procedure “to see if it will help increase their visual field.”
If you’re interested in finding out if Upneeq® is right for you – and I certainly am – consult with your eye doctor or primary care physician. As with all medications, it’s important to discuss everything you’re taking to make sure you’re a good candidate. Given that the results can last anywhere from six to 10 hours or longer, this may be the non-surgical miracle you’ve been dreaming about.
Stay tuned! I have my consultation scheduled and shall report back with more details along with my 30-day results.