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Presbyopia is an eye condition, in which individuals cannot see objects clearly at a close distance. This condition normally begins after the age of 40 and progresses until about 65 years of age.
When people have presbyopia, they may need to hold books or magazines farther away to see the text or image.
Some symptoms of presbyopia include:
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Presbyopia occurs because of the rigid lens sitting inside the eye. In younger people, the clear lens is soft and flexible, changing shape to refract (bend) light onto the retina. The retina is sensory tissue that transmits visual signals via the optic nerve to the brain. Your brain interprets these signals as the visual images you see.
However, there comes a moment after the age of 40 when the natural lens loses its flexibility. The shape does not change as much as before. This means that light entering into the lens of the eye does not bend as well and eyesight gets worse. Reading, threading a needle, or performing other close-up activities become more challenging and for some, frustrating.
Certain risk factors may increase an individual’s likelihood of developing presbyopia. These factors include:
It is important to remember that presbyopia forms part of the normal aging process. When it occurs, individuals cannot stop the eye condition from deteriorating.
However, early detection of presbyopia can help individuals consider treatment options to avoid more severe symptoms. Visiting an eye care professional regularly and undergoing a comprehensive eye exam could determine whether the age-related condition is present.
If an eye doctor makes a presbyopia diagnosis, treatment options (both invasive and non-invasive) are available.
Individuals may choose to undergo refractive surgery to correct presbyopia. Some of these eye surgeries include:
Individuals living with presbyopia alone may only need glasses. Reading glasses can help bend light before it comes into the eye to correct close-up vision issues. To determine the specific power of reading glasses, it is best to undergo an eye exam at the nearest eye clinic.
For those with early-stage presbyopia, there are additional tricks for vision correction. For example, using bright reading lights, selecting large-print texts, or enlarging font size on the computer can all help.
However, if other eye vision problems are present (hyperopia, myopia, or astigmatism), individuals may need to consider wearing other types of lenses. These lenses include:
Similarly, for those looking for more comfort, two types of contact lenses are available to help treat presbyopia. The two kinds of contact lenses include:
It is always recommended to visit an ophthalmology clinic and consult an eye health professional regarding any presbyopia concern. Performing regular eye exams can help determine to what extent the eye condition has developed. An eye health professional can then provide the best treatment plan.
Boyd, Kierstan. “What Is Presbyopia?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 27 June 2020, www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-presbyopia.
“Presbyopia.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 Sept. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/presbyopia/symptoms-causes/syc-20363328.
“Presbyopia.” National Eye Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 8 Sept. 2020, www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/presbyopia.