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Home » What's New » Taking a Closer Look at Presbyopia

Taking a Closer Look at Presbyopia

Having challenges with reading is a frequently occurring problem if you're close to middle age. Why? Because as you age, your eye's lens becomes increasingly inflexible, making it less able to focus on close objects. We call this presbyopia. And it's universal.

People with untreated presbyopia may hold reading material at arm's length to be able to focus properly. Performing other close-range activities, such as embroidery or writing, could also result in headaches, eyestrain or fatigue in those who have developed presbyopia. For sufferers who want to do something about presbyopia, you have several solutions available, whether you currently wear glasses, contacts or nothing at all.

An oft-used solution is reading glasses, though these are only useful for those who wear contacts or for people who don't already wear glasses for issues with distance vision. You can buy these almost anywhere, but it's better not to buy them until you have been examined by an eye care professional. Unfortunately, these kinds of reading glasses may be helpful for quick periods of reading but they can eventually cause fatigue when worn for long stretches of time. Actually, custom-made reading glasses are a far better solution. They can address additional eye issues such as rectify astigmatism, accommodate prescriptions that are different between the two eyes, and on top of that, the optic centers of the lenses can be specially made to meet the needs of whoever is wearing them. The reading distance is another detail that can be designed to meet your specific needs.

And for those who already use glasses, but would rather just use one pair of glasses at a time, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which are very popular. Essentially, these are eyeglasses that have more than one point of focus, and the lower part of the lens is where there is a prescription that helps you focus on things right in front of you. If you already wear contacts, it's recommended to speak to your eye care professional about multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment approach which is called monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Since your eyesight continues to change as you grow older, it's fair to expect your prescription to increase periodically. But it's also crucial to examine your options before deciding what's best for your vision; you can be susceptible to presbyopia, even if you've had refractive surgery.

It's best to speak to your eye care professional for an unbiased perspective. Presbyopia is an inevitability of middle age, but the decisions you make about how to handle it is in your hands.