Presbyopia

What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is the loss of close-up focusing. Normally, the lens in the eye changes shape to focus light directly onto the retina (back of the eye). But with age, the lens hardens and cannot change its shape as easily. It then can’t focus clearly on close objects. This makes them look blurry.

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What Are the Symptoms?
Presbyopia makes it hard to do things close up, such as read small print, use tools, or thread a needle. The first sign may be a tired feeling when you look at something close up. Presbyopia most often starts when you`re 40 to 45 years old. It slowly gets worse until you`re about 60 to 65.

How is Presbyopia diagnosed?
Your eye doctor can tell you what your vision problem is by testing your vision. Glasses or contact lenses can then be prescribed to help you see better.

Your Eye Exam
By using eye charts, lenses, and special instruments, your eye doctor can measure your eyes` focusing power. This way, he or she can tell what magnifying power you`ll need for focusing on close objects. Your eye doctor can also tell what focusing power you`ll need if you`re nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic. He or she may also dilate your eyes to look inside them. This is done to make sure nothing else is affecting your vision.

How is it Corrected?
Glasses or contact lenses can correct presbyopia. They “pull” the image back onto the retina. This way, you can see an object clearly. There are several kinds of glasses and contacts you can choose from.

Glasses
Presbyopia is most often corrected by wearing glasses. If you have no other vision problems, you may only need reading glasses. If you are also nearsighted or farsighted, your eye doctor can prescribe bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses.

Reading glasses help you focus clearly on objects that are close. You can choose half glasses or full glasses.

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Bifocals correct near and far vision (“bi” means two). A small half–circle in the lower part of the lens magnifies objects that are close. In some cases, the whole lower half of the lens magnifies these objects.

 width=Trifocals correct near, middle, and far vision (“tri” means three). The lower part of the lens has two magnifying powers. One magnifies near objects. The other magnifies objects that are about an arm’s length away.

 

 width=Progressive lenses change magnifying power from near to middle to far vision gradually. You do not notice a change from one power to the next. And you do not see any lines on the lenses.

 

Contact Lenses
There are two kinds of contact lenses that correct presbyopia. If you now wear contact lenses, you can also use reading glasses with your contacts.

Monovision contact lenses correct one eye for close vision and one eye far vision. This means one contact lens helps you read and see things that are near. The other contact lens helps you see things that are at a distance.

Multifocal contact lenses have magnifying power. Some alternate between near and far vision. Others gradually change from near to far vision. You do not notice a change from one power to the next. Talk with your eye doctor about which kind of multifocal lens is best for you.

Get Regular Eye Exams
Eye exams are important to measure and correct vision problems. But seeing an eye doctor regularly also helps detect other eye problems. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye problems could save your eyesight.

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