What Is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of your eye loses its flexibility. This results in progressive difficulty in focusing on close objects.
What Causes Presbyopia?
Your eye stops growing in your early teens. The lens, however, continues to grow and produce more and more cells. This continued growth eventually causes the lens to harden and lose some of its elasticity and therefore some focusing ability.
At What Age Does Presbyopia Occur?
It varies from person to person. Although presbyopia may seem to develop suddenly, the actual decline takes place over the course of many years. Presbyopia usually becomes apparent to people in their early to mid-40s.
What Are Signs/Symptoms of Presbyopia?
Some signs/symptoms of presbyopia include the tendency to hold reading material at arm's length, blurred vision at normal reading distance, and eye fatigue, along with headaches when attempting to do close work.
Can Presbyopia Be Prevented?
Unfortunately, it cannot. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process.
How Is Presbyopia Diagnosed?
A comprehensive eye examination by a doctor of optometry will include testing your near vision. This will determine the extent, if any, of presbyopia.
How Is Presbyopia Treated?
To compensate for presbyopia, doctors of optometry prescribe reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, progressive addition lenses, or contact lenses. Since presbyopia can complicate other common vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, your optometrist will perform other tests to determine the specific lenses that will allow you to see clearly and comfortably for your daily visual needs. Your optometrist will also ask specific questions about your occupational and recreational activities. This information will aid in determining what type of lenses you need.
Will I Have to Wear Glasses All the Time?
This will depend on a number of factors, including any other vision conditions you have. You may only need your glasses for reading, working at your computer, sewing, or other close work. However, you may find that wearing your glasses all the time is more beneficial and convenient for your vision needs.
Can I Still Wear Contact Lenses?
Great strides continue to be made in contact lenses. New technology is making it possible for doctors of optometry to correct many vision conditions, including presbyopia. You and your optometrist can decide whether contact lenses are right for you.
Why Are Frequent Lens Changes Necessary After Age 40?
The effects of presbyopia constantly change the ability of the eye's crystalline lens to focus properly. As a result, periodic changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses are necessary to maintain good vision.
How Will Presbyopia Affect My Lifestyle?
After adjusting to your new eyewear, you should find that you can still do all the things you did before. Presbyopia will probably not have a significant effect on your lifestyle at all. You should, however, continue to have comprehensive optometric examinations as recommended by your doctor of optometry.
This information provided by the American Optometric Association (AOA). To find out more, visit their website at www.aoa.org.