Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eyes ability to focus nearby objects. Presbyopia is naturally occurring and usually begins around the age of 40. Even those who have never had an eye problem before will be affected by presbyopia.
Patients who have been diagnosed with nearsightedness will notice their near vision blurring while wearing their usual prescribed lenses. This is due to the fact that the effects of presbyopia can be combined with other vision problems.
Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging of the eye. It is not a disease and cannot be prevented. Presbyopia is developed from a gradual thickening and loss of elasticity of the lens within the eye.
With age, the proteins in the lens begin to change making the lens hard and less elastic. In addition, age-related changes take place in the surrounding muscle fibers. As a result of these changes, the eye has a harder time focusing on objects nearby.
The Symptoms of Presbyopia
The symptoms of presbyopia are much like those of Hyperopia. As such, it is important to schedule an eye examination if you notice changes in your vision to determine the source of the problem.
Symptoms of presbyopia include:
The need to hold reading material at arm’s length
Headaches and eyestrain as a result from near work (reading or writing)
Squinting to focus up-close objects
How is Presbyopia Diagnosed?
Our Optometrist is able to diagnose hyperopia during a comprehensive eye examination. You will be asked to complete a standard vision test. The test consists of whether or not you can read letters on a chart placed at the other end of the room. Other tests and equipment are used to reinforce the diagnosis.
If the test concludes that you are presbyopic, our Optometrist will use a phoropter to measure the amount of refractive error present.
Once completed, our Optometrist will be able to discuss if treatment is necessary.
The most common treatment options for presbyopia includes eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery
Eyeglasses are the simplest and safest way to correct presbyopia. Our Optometrist will be able to prescribe appropriate lenses for your specific case of presbyopia. Depending on the severity, you may be able to use over-the-counter reading glasses.
Contact Lenses are another option for treating presbyopia for those who do not want to wear eyeglasses. However, contact lenses may not work if you have certain conditions related to your eyelids, tear ducts, of eye surfaces.
Monovision can be created through contact lenses to correct presbyopia. With monovision contacts, one lens will be for distance vision, and one lens will be for close-up. Over time, your brain will adjust to the lens and rely on each specific eye for individual tasks.
Refractive Surgery aims to decrease or completely eliminate the need for prescribed lenses. The surgery will change the shapes of your cornea to improve close-up vision in your non-dominant eye. Many options are available and should be discussed thoroughly with our Optometrist.