What is presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a common condition that occurs naturally as people age, resulting in the inability of the eyes to focus on near objects.
In order to focus on near objects, the lens of your eye needs to be flexible and able to change shape easily. Over time, the ageing process causes the flexibility of the lens in the eye to decrease and you begin to experience difficulty focusing on near objects.
This change in lens flexibility is completely normal, just like stiffening joints or greying hair and unfortunately, presbyopia cannot be prevented but can be treated.
Who is affected?
As presbyopia naturally occurs in people as they age, anyone over the age of 35 is at risk of developing it.
Most people notice presbyopia from the age of 40 when simple tasks like reading become more difficult. From 65 years onwards, it is unlikely that further significant changes to your vision will occur due to presbyopia.
Signs and symptoms
- Difficulty reading small print up close
- Feeling the need to hold reading materials further away
- Tiredness in eyes when reading
- Eye strain
If you experience any of the above symptoms, we recommend you make an appointment to see your Health Partners optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination.
The simplest way of treating presbyopia is with prescription glasses or contact lenses. Specifically designed for short distances, it is important that the prescription is calculated for your individual needs. Your Health Partners optometrist will be able to perfectly match the prescription to the visual distance you require and discuss with you the activities that will suit your particular prescription.
If you already experience difficulty seeing distant objects, rather than using two or more pairs of glasses, your optometrist can arrange a bifocal or multifocal prescription. Bifocals are special lenses that have a prescription for distance vision in the top half and near vision in the lower half. Multifocals use newer technology which allows both distance, intermediate and near vision, without the visible line of the traditional bifocal lens.
There are a number of prescription options available depending on your situation and by consulting your optometrist; together you will be able to determine which prescription is right for you.