Presbyopia is a visual impairment related to aging in which objects at a close range, such as newspapers, books or sewing, become blurred. With the growing worldwide population reaching older ages, a significant number of individuals develop presbyopia, which currently cannot be avoided.
Theories about the cause of presbyopia are that the eye will often harden around the age of 40, making it more difficult for the eyes to focus in on an object, particularly something close by. Sufferers usually manage with the situation by holding the paper away from their eyes or standing away from the object they are looking at. Shifting from looking at distant objects to closer ones is often straining for people with presbyopia. This strain can worsen the situation resulting in eye strain, fatigues or headaches.
The most common corrections for presbyopia are bifocals or progressives (PALs). Bifocal lenses are separated into two points of focus, the upper portion is for seeing objects from far away and the other part of the lens is for looking at things nearby. PALs use the same principal as bifocals, however the transitions between the two prescriptions are more gradual and have no clear line between them. Wearers can more easily shift visual focus, as they could with normal eyesight. An alternative would be reading glasses which, unlike bifocals or PALs which are worn all day, are used only as needed.
Presbyopes can also use multifocal contact lenses or monovision lens correction (in which one eye is prescribed a correction for distance vision and the other near vision) to improve the condition. It may take a while to figure out the best method and type of contact lenses since different prescriptions can cause discomfort or blurriness.
In addition, there are options for other procedures including surgery available that may be worth discussing with your eye doctor. A lot of patients are most successful using a combination of treatments for presbyopia. Also, because your vision will continue to get worse as you get older, it is likely that you will need to keep adapting your prescription. With the population growing older, there continues to be a significant amount of experimental treatment on the market currently to discover other effective solutions for patients with presbyopia.
Seeing signs of presbyopia? Schedule a visit with your Fayetteville, NC optometrist. Improved eyesight is worth it!