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Presbyopia and Getting Older

Presbyopia is a vision impairment that comes with age in which objects at a close range, such as newspapers, books or sewing, become blurred. As people worldwide are living longer more and more individuals are developing the condition, which currently cannot be escaped.

Many believe that presbyopia is caused because the eye will often harden by the age of forty, making it harder for the eyes to focus on something, especially an object close by. Sufferers usually deal with the reduced vision by holding the paper away from their eyes or standing back from the object they want to focus on. Transitions from focusing on far off things to nearer ones is often strenuous for people with presbyopia. The stress might add to one’s discomfort resulting in headaches, eye strain or fatigue.

The most common solutions for correcting presbyopia are bifocals or progressive addition lenses (PALs). A bifocal lens is separated into two prescriptions for vision, the main part of the lens has a prescription for distance vision and a second, lower portion for looking at things nearby. Progressive lenses use the same principal as bifocal lenses, however the transitions between the two prescriptions are more gradual and have no visible line between them. Users will more easily shift focus, as they would if they had normal eyesight. A third option is reading glasses which are usually worn just when needed as opposed to all day.

If contact lenses are preferred over glasses, you might want to consider multifocal contact lenses. People react in different ways to multifocal lenses, so it may take a while to figure out if and in what combination they work for you.

In addition, there are options for other procedures including surgery that could be considered that you may want to discuss with your optometrist. Many people find the most success by using a combination of options for presbyopia. Furthermore, because your vision will likely get worse as you age, it is likely that you will be required to keep adapting the strength of your prescription. With the population growing older, there continues to be a significant amount of research being done to identify more effective solutions for the growing number of people dealing with presbyopia.

If you are starting to notice signs of presbyopia, call for a visit with our optometrist. A return to normal eyesight is worth it!