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Middle Age and Presbyopia

Ever wonder why it gets harder to focus on small print as you get older? With age, your eye’s lens grows more rigid, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. The clinical term for this is presbyopia.

People with untreated presbyopia tend to hold printed text at arm’s length to be able to focus properly. In addition to reading, engaging in other close-range tasks, such as needlepoint or writing, may also lead to headaches, eyestrain or fatigue. In order to treat presbyopia, it is helpful to know that there are a number of solutions available, which take your eyewear preferences into account.

One of the most popular choices is reading glasses, but these are mostly efficient for those who wear contacts or for people who don’t already need glasses for problems with distance vision. You can get these glasses at lots of shops, but you shouldn’t purchase a pair until you have spoken with an optometrist. Unfortunately, these kinds of reading glasses may be useful for short blocks of reading time but they can eventually lead to eyestrain when worn for a long time. Custom made readers are generally a more helpful solution. They are able to fix astigmatism, comfortably accommodate prescriptions that are different between the two eyes, and, the optic centers of the lenses can be made to suit the wearer. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual’s needs.

If you already have glasses for distance vision, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people find really easy to wear. These are glasses with more than one point of focus; the bottom portion has the prescription for seeing nearby objects. If you wear contacts, meet with us to discuss multifocal contact lenses. There’s also a treatment technique known as monovision. Monovision is when you wear one contact lens to correct near sightedness in one eye and another to correct far sightedness in the other eye.

Because your vision continues to change as time goes on, it’s fair to expect your prescription to increase periodically. Presbyopia can affect older individuals even after refractive surgery, so it is it’s worthwhile to take the time to find out about all the options before making decisions about your vision care.

We recommend you speak to your eye doctor for a helpful perspective. We can help you deal with presbyopia and your changing vision in a way that’s both beneficial and accessible.