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Optical Presbyopia


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What is presbyopia?

A common condition that occurs naturally as we age, presbyopia causes difficulty in focusing on near objects.

The lens of your eye needs to be flexible and able to change shape easily in order to focus.

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.

The symptoms

Presbyopia has a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty reading small print up close
  • Feeling the need to hold reading materials further away
  • Tiredness in eyes when reading
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, make an appointment for an eye test as soon as possible.

Am I at risk?

As presbyopia naturally occurs in people as they age, anyone over the age of 35 is at risk of developing it. Most people notice the condition from around the age of 40 when simple tasks like reading become more difficult. From 65 years onwards, it’s unlikely that further significant changes to your vision will occur due to presbyopia.

How do you treat presbyopia?

The simplest way to treat presbyopia is with prescription glasses or contact lenses. Specifically designed for short distances, it’s important that the prescription is calculated for your individual needs. Our optometrists will perfectly match the prescription to the visual distance you require and discuss your daily activities that will suit your particular prescription.

If you already experience difficulty seeing distant objects, rather than using two or more pairs of glasses, we 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 together with your optometrist you’ll be able to determine which prescription is right for you.

If you’re worried about your eye health book an eye test today. Early detection is vital in treating any eye condition.

*Independently conducted research by New Focus Research, November 2016.