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Home » News and Events » Dealing with Presbyopia

Dealing with Presbyopia

Ever wonder why even people who never had glasses have a hard time seeing things up close when they reach middle age? Because as you age, the lens of your eye is likely to become more and more inflexible, making it challenging to focus on near objects. This is known as presbyopia. And, it's something that affects us all.

In an effort to avoid eyestrain, people with untreated presbyopia tend to hold printed text at arm's length in order to focus properly. Performing other tasks at close range, like needlepoint or handwriting, could also lead to eyestrain and discomfort in individuals who have developed this condition. In order to treat presbyopia, there are a number of alternatives available, whether you are a glasses or contact lens wearer.

A common aid is reading glasses, though these are only useful for those who wear contacts or for people who don't already wear glasses for issues with distance vision. You can find these almost anywhere, but it is not recommended to buy them until you have the advice of an eye care professional. Too often ''over-the-counter'' reading glasses may be helpful for brief blocks of reading time but they can eventually result in eyestrain when worn for long stretches of time. Not surprisingly, custom-made reading glasses are a much better solution. They can do a number of things, like rectify astigmatism, comfortably accommodate prescriptions that vary between the two eyes, and in addition to all this, the optic centers of the lenses can be made to meet the needs of the person who wears them. The reading distance is another detail that can be customized to match your unique needs.

If you would rather just use one pair of glasses at a time, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people respond really well to. PALs and multi-focals are glasses with multiple points of focus; the bottom portion helps you see text and tasks at close distances. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist to find out about multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment technique called monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Since your vision continues to change with age, you should expect your prescription to increase periodically. But it's also crucial to examine all the options before deciding what's best for your vision; presbyopia can affect you, even if you've had refractive surgery in the past.

Ask your optometrist for an unbiased perspective. Sight does not stay the same as you age and we think it's important that you deal with it in the way that's best for you.

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