20 April, 2023
Presbyopia is a common eye condition that affects many people as they age. It is caused by the gradual stiffening and loss of elasticity of the lens in the eye, which makes it increasingly difficult to focus on near objects. This condition can be treated with prescription glasses or contact lenses, and surgery may be an option in some cases.
Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process. Symptoms may include difficulty reading small print, needing to hold books or other items further away in order to read them, headaches, and eye strain.
If you are experiencing any systems of Presbyopia, you should book an appointment with your optometrist.
As Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process, it typically starts to occur in the early 40s. Occurring when the lenses in your eyes lose their natural elasticity and flexibility, it makes it harder for you to focus on objects at close distances.
There are certain risk factors that may increase your chances of developing presbyopia earlier than expected, including longsightedness (hyperopia), smoking and chronic health conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
If you are experiencing any symptoms or changes in your vision that could be related to presbyopia, the first step is to make an appointment with a qualified eye care professional, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
During a routine eye exam, your provider will use several specialized tests and tools to assess your overall visual health. These may include visual acuity tests for distance and near vision.
Your optometrist will also use a phoropter, a device which helps determine whether you’re long or shortsighted, or demonstrate astigmatism. The optometrist will also assess your near focus, which is the ability to see objects clearly at close distances. They will also assess how well your eyes work together.
Presbyopia symptoms can be quite disruptive to everyday life. When reading or working at close range, those with presbyopia may experience eye strain, headaches, loss of focusing ability, blurred vision, and a general feeling of tiredness from close work.
Presbyopia will cause text to appear blurry or out of focus. Difficulty reading small fonts and in low light is common for those dealing with presbyopia symptoms.
Corrective eyewear, such as prescription glasses, reading glasses and contact lenses can help manage these symptoms.
This correction may also reduce eyestrain and headaches associated with presbyopia. Also, some people may find temporary relief through simple methods such as holding a book further away.
Presbyopia can be managed with corrective lenses such as glasses. Depending on your prescription, single vision, progressive or bifocal lenses may need to be prescribed.
Progressive lenses are designed specifically to provide clear vision at all distances, making them an ideal option for presbyopia sufferers who need correction at multiple distances. The top portion of a progressive lens contains the distance prescription, whilst the power of the lens increases as you look lower through the lens. The maximum reading power is achieved at the bottom.
Bifocals also provide clear vision but have two focal points – one for distance and one for near vision – making them well-suited to those who primarily require correction for distance tasks and whilst reading. Bifocals may not work as well on a computer or at intermediate distances.
Using an anti-reflective coating or blue light filter on your lenses can reduce glare and enhance clarity even further. For most people with presbyopia, wearing glasses is a simple way to manage their condition and restore clear vision.
Contact lenses are also available for presbyopia sufferers.
Multifocal contact lenses are available but can be a little more challenging to prescribe than multifocal glasses. Because a contact lens rests on the eye you’re unable to look through the upper or lower portion of the lens like a progressive spectacle lens, instead they have a unique concentric ring which is designed to simultaneously make distance and near vision clear. Monovision contact lenses are another option where one eye is corrected for distance and the other eye corrected for near vision.
Surgery may also be an option. Similar to contact lenses correcting the distance and near vision simultaneously can be challenging. Refractive surgery such as Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) and Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) involves reshaping the curvature of the cornea. In order to see clearly at both far and close distances requires a monovision correction.
Intra-ocular lens implants can also be an option, which involves placing an artificial lens inside the eye. The new generation of multifocal lenses can be quite effective at correcting both distance and near vision, although reading glasses may still be required for very small near print.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with presbyopia is that it cannot be reversed – it will continue to progress as you age. However, staying up-to-date with regular comprehensive eye exams will ensure that any changes in your vision are properly addressed and treated in a timely manner.
If you suspect that you may be experiencing symptoms of presbyopia, the first step is to seek professional help.
At EyeQ, we’re dedicated to helping our patients find the best solutions for their visual needs.
Whether you need a routine eye exam or are interested in corrective lenses or surgery, our experienced optometrists are here to help.
Book an appointment with us today to learn more about presbyopia and how we can help you manage your symptoms!
Our contact lens provider Alcon is experiencing delays fulfilling orders due to a cyber-security incident involving their freight partner, Toll Group. These delays are across their entire network of optical retailers in Australia. We apologise for an inconvenience caused and encourage you to contact your local EyeQ practice for any urgent requirements.