Presbyopia occurs when your eyes gradually lose the ability to focus clearly on objects that are close to you, usually in those over the age of 40. Even if you have never had vision problems, you can still develop presbyopia. That’s because it is a normal part of the aging process. It happens when the lens gradually thickens and loses its flexibility. Just like the rest of your body, as you get older the eyes naturally undergo several changes, and it can become difficult to see things clearly up close or read without eye strain. Age-related farsightedness (presbyopia) at some point, affects everyone. Unfortunately, it is an inevitable part of aging. It cannot be prevented, but it is treatable.
What Is Presbyopia?
Not to be confused with farsightedness, presbyopia is a normal change to our eyes as we age. Unlike hyperopia, which occurs because the eyeball is either shorter than normal or the cornea is too flat, presbyopia occurs because the lens of the eye gradually becomes rigid and inflexible over time. While it is similar to hyperopia in that distance vision is usually not affected, the reasons behind the symptoms are quite different. Hyperopia occurs when an irregularly shaped eye prevents light from properly lining up with the retina. Presbyopia on the other hand, is an age-related condition. For those who are experiencing symptoms, you may find yourself moving things further away, like your smartphone or a menu, to see them more clearly.
Presbyopia Causes & Symptoms
The gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the eye’s lens is what causes presbyopia. Because these age-related changes occur, the lens can no longer reshape itself to focus on close objects. Anyone over the age of 35 is at risk of developing it. So knowing the symptoms is important.
Some Signs & Symptoms Include:
- Eye Strain or headaches
- Having A Hard Timer eading small print
- Problems Seeing objects that are close to you
- Having to Hold reading material further than an arm’s length
The most common ways to treat presbyopia is with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. If this is your only vision problem (meaning you are not farsighted, nearsighted, or have astigmatism), reading glasses may be all you need. This type of eyewear is used to help correct close-up vision problems and can be bought without a prescription. But, for most people, presbyopia is usually accompanied by another refractive error. When this is the case, the treatment option that is best for you depends on your unique needs. For this reason, it’s best to know your options. If you already wear eyeglasses, you may need bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses to correct your vision. And, for those who wear contact lenses, monovision contacts or multifocal contacts may be the right fit for you.
Custom LASIK (also known as wavefront-guided LASIK) utilizes wavefront guided technology to precisely measure how light focuses on the back of the eye. A femtosecond laser is used to create a corneal “flap” which allows for a very rapid recovery in vision. The excimer laser is then used to correct subtle visual imperfections while reshaping the cornea, reducing the amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
Corneal inlays are very small lenses or optical devices that are inserted into a flap created in the cornea to improve near vision. The primary purpose is to reduce the need for reading glasses in older adults over the age of 40. Cornea is the clear portion of the front surface of the eye that allows light to enter the eye for sight. The cornea provides most of the focusing power of the eye.
Whatever your vision challenge is, the good news is many problems can be corrected. Our team of highly trained eye doctors will listen to your concerns and accommodate your unique vision needs. During a comprehensive eye exam, we will help you determine which option or procedure is right for you. If you are experiencing any vision difficulties, schedule an appointment, or call us at (619) 222-2020 and learn how we can help.