Presbyopia

Common Vision Conditions

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of the eye loses its flexibility. This results in difficulty focusing on close objects.

Causes

The eye stops growing in the early teens. However, the lens continues to grow and produce more and more cells throughout adulthood. Eventually, the lens loses some of its elasticity and therefore loses some of its focusing ability. This loss of near focusing ability, or presbyopia, is a natural part of the aging process of the eye. It is not a disease and it cannot be prevented.

At What Age Does Presbyopia Occur?

Presbyopia may seem to occur suddenly but the actual loss of flexibility takes place over a number of years. It usually becomes apparent to people in their early to mid forties.

Symptoms

Tendency to hold reading material at arms length

Blurred vision at a normal reading distance

Eye fatigue

Headaches when attempting to do close work

Treatment

Reading glasses

Bifocal, trifocal or progressive eyeglasses

Contact lenses

Will I Have To Wear Glasses All The Time?

This depends on a number of factors, including any other vision conditions you have. You may only need your glasses for reading, sewing or other close work. However, you may find that wearing your glasses all the time is more beneficial and convenient for your vision needs.

Can I Still Wear Contact Lenses?

While no perfect solution exists, great strides are being made in the area of contact lens. Your doctor of optometry can help decide what is right for you.

Why Are Frequent Lens Changes Needed After 40?

The effects of presbyopia constantly change the ability of the crystalline lens to focus properly. As a result, periodic changes in your eyewear are necessary to maintain correct vision.

Can Refractive Surgery Correct Presybopia?

Not at the current time. Many innovations and research ideas are being tested but at the present time no proven means of correcting or preventing presbyopia exists. All refractive procedures done today concentrate on altering the cornea, while the problem of presbyopia comes from the lens.

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