If you haven’t heard of presbyopia before then you are not alone. Although it is a common visual problem with studies suggesting it affects as many as 150million U.S. citizens, many people have not heard of its official name. Presbyopia is age-related vision deterioration that usually begins around the age of 40, although recent studies have suggested that the median age is creeping lower.
Unfortunately, there is no way of avoiding presbyopia, even if you have never needed to wear glasses or had any vision problems earlier in your life. It affects a person’s near-vision, and so a sufferer will notice blurring when they are reading, using a computer or doing an activity such as knitting or sewing. Even those people who already wear glasses or contact lenses for near-sightedness will notice a deterioration in their close-up vision.
Unlike near and far-sightedness and astigmatism, which are all related to the shape of your eye and the way in which your eye processes the light that enters it, presbyopia is thought to come from waning flexibility and gradual thickening of the natural lens inside of your eye. This
As well as a disturbance in your vision when focusing on things in close range, there a few other symptoms that you may experience. These include:
- Watery eyes when trying to focus
- Needing to adjust the angle and distance with which you focus on things nearby
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms speak to Dr. Jeffrey Minkovitz to arrange for a thorough eye examination.
Thankfully there are a number of ways in which presbyopia can be managed.
Glasses are the most popular method of correcting presbyopia. Your optometrist will probably suggest either bifocal or progressive addition lenses. Both allow the wearer to combine a far-sighted and near-sighted prescription in one lens, but where bifocal glasses have a visible line that separates the stronger prescription, progressive addition lenses offer a far more gradual visual transition between the two different prescriptions.
Alternatively, you may be offered reading glasses which are only to be used for near-sighted activities. These are most often suggested to patients who, aside from presbyopia, have no need for glasses or contact lenses.
If you are already a wearer of contact lenses then your optometrist may suggest that you also have a prescription for glasses that you can wear in addition to your contacts when you need to do things that require close-up attention.
If you aren’t a lover of glasses, then you will be pleased to hear that there are a couple of contact lens solutions for presbyopia too. Multifocal contact lenses are by far the most popular choice, and they are available in both gas permeable and soft lens material, giving you even further control over your visual well-being.
Monovision is a possible alternative to multifocal lenses. It requires different prescription lenses for each eye, one far-sighted and one near-sighted. The brain is then able to train itself to use a particular eye depending on the subject. For example, if your left eye contained the near-sighted corrective lens then your brain would learn to automatically switch to favoring your left eye when required to focus on close-up activities such as reading or using a computer. While many people who have opted for monovision lenses have been more than satisfied with the results, there are others who have been unable to adjust to using them.
There are a number of surgical options available to sufferers of presbyopia, but none of them offer a permanent solution. They include LASIK laser eye surgery and a new version known as PresbyLasik.
Alternatively, there is a procedure known as refractive lens exchange. Virtually identical to cataracts surgery, it involves the replacement of the natural lens of the patient with an artificial presbyopia-correcting lens that allows for multifocal vision.
There are a variety of other experimental surgical treatments currently being
If you feel that you may be suffering from presbyopia, we highly recommend that you contact and make an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Minkovitz who will be able to assess your ocular needs and recommend the best course of action.