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Presbyopia: What You Need to Know

Presbyopia is a common eye condition that occurs with age, and affects the eye's ability to see things up close. It is the reason why many older people need to come to OptimEyes for prescription reading glasses, bifocals, or trifocals. Though presbyopia is a normal sign of aging, it does not have to be something you simply learn to live with. If you are between the ages of 40 and 65 and have found that it has become harder to focus on reading or close work, call Dr. Mohanan for an appointment today.

Presbyopia Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Presbyopia symptoms tend to come on gradually, and most people do not notice them until they are in their 40s. Signs that you are developing presbyopia include:

  • Holding reading materials at arm's length in order to get a clearer view of the letters
  • Inability to see objects or letters clearly at reading distance
  • Headaches or eyestrain following close work or reading

Age is a major risk factor for presbyopia, which occurs as the result of hardening and stiffening of the lens of the eye with age. As the lens loses its flexibility, it can no longer make the changes in shape that are necessary to allow the eye to focus on reading and close work. 

While presbyopia mostly occurs in people over age 40, you do not have to be 40 to develop this condition. Premature presbyopia can strike people who use certain prescription drugs, like antihistamines, diuretics, or antidepressants. Medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and multiple sclerosis can also contribute to presbyopia at a younger age. If you think you might be suffering from premature presbyopia, call OptimEye to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mohanon today. 

Many people choose to treat presbyopia with eyeglasses. You can even use over-the-counter reading glasses to correct your vision for reading and close work, although Dr. Mohanan recommends prescription reading glasses to avoid eyestrain and headaches. You might need the glasses only for reading if you have no other eye problems. However, if you have additional vision problems, you may want bifocals, which provide correction for both distance and close vision, or trifocals, which provide correction for distance, middle distance, and close vision. If you prefer to wear contact lenses instead, ask Dr. Mohanan about bifocal contact lenses.

Surgeries are also available for presbyopia treatment, with LASIK being a popular option. However, there are several types of surgery that can reshape the cornea to improve close-up vision in people with presbyopia. You might also opt for lens implants, which can improve both close and distance vision, or corneal inlays, in which a small corneal implant is inserted in the eye to change the shape of the cornea and improve vision. Eye surgeries carry risks, and you should carefully consider these before committing to surgery. There is a chance that even after surgery, you may still need reading glasses.