APRIL IS PRESBYOPIA AWARENESS MONTH
Do you find yourself…
Holding materials at arm’s length, using bright lights to read, or squinting your eyes. If so, you could have presbyopia. Presbyopia is when your eyes gradually lose the ability to see things up close clearly and is a normal part of aging.
What causes Presbyopia?
There is a clear lens that sits inside the eye behind your colored iris. It changes shape to focus light onto the retina so you can see clearly. When you are young, the lens is flexible, soft and can easily change shape. This allows you to focus on objects far away and up close. After age 40, the lens becomes less flexible and cannot change shape as easily. Which makes it harder to read and do other close-up tasks.
Presbyopia is a normal part of the aging process and cannot be reversed. However, it can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. People who have trouble seeing both near and far may benefit from progressive lenses. If you do not correct presbyopia, you may be bothered by headaches and eye strain.
Ways to Cope with Presbyopia?
Keep your Regularly Scheduled Optometry Appointments
Only your eye doctor can tell if the lack of clarity you are experiencing is related to aging. During your eye exam, your doctor will ensure that the change in your vision is caused by presbyopia and not cataracts, diabetic eye disease or other conditions.
If presbyopia is your only vision problem (you do not have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism) reading glasses may be all you need. Reading glasses help correct close up vision problems by refracting (bending) light before it enters your eye. While reading glasses can be bought without a prescription, the specific power of reading glasses that you need should be determined by your Optometrist. When you visit your eye doctor, you’ll receive a precise lens prescription that will make your near vision sharp and clear.
Bifocals, Trifocals or Progressive Eyeglass Lenses.
These lenses can be good choices if you already wear glasses due to myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism (blurred vision due to an irregularly shaped cornea).
Bifocals, trifocals, and progressive lenses aren’t the only solutions if you have presbyopia in addition to myopia, astigmatism or hyperopia.
A magnifying glass can help you with doing tasks that require you to use your near vision. The use of a magnifying mirror can also make it easier to put on makeup or other grooming tasks.
For people who have also have myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism, laser refractive surgery might be a consideration. If you are interested in laser vision correction, please visit the Center for Advanced Eye Care.