Once you hit age 40, you might start to notice that your near vision isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be.
This condition is called Presbyopia. Presbyopia comes from the Latin, literally meaning “old eye”.
Presbyopia happens to everyone and is a normal condition of aging. Even if you have had excellent vision all of your life, you will develop presbyopia as you reach middle age. Simple tasks, like reading, sewing and working on the computer will become more difficult.
What Causes Presbyopia? As we age, the lens of our eye becomes less flexible, which makes it more difficult to change focus. At the same time, the muscles that control the lens become less flexible as well. These two issues combine, and the eye isn’t able to focus clearly on items that are close.
Most people can cope with the beginnings of presbyopia by holding books, menus and ingredient labels further away from their eyes.
However, this solution only works in the short-term. Your arms are only so long! Working on objects that are close to your eyes may cause eye strain and headaches, so it is important to have a complete eye exam to find a solution.
1. If you wear glasses for distance vision:
Bifocal Lenses: The top of these lenses are for distance, the bottom is for near vision.
Progressive Lenses: These glasses have a gradual transition from distance to near vision.
2. If you wear contacts:
Bifocal Contact Lenses: These lenses have both near and far correction.
Monovision: One eye will be corrected for distance; the other eye will be corrected for near vision. This option may take a little getting used to. Some patients have difficulty with depth perception with monovision contacts, but many patients make the adjustment with no problems at all.
3. If you have never needed glasses:
Reading glasses will help bring near items into focus.
Does presbyopia get worse? Unfortunately, yes. You will continue to need a higher prescription for near vision as you get older. Your eye doctor will be able to test your eyes to find the right prescription for you.
Talk with Dr. Scott to find your best solution for seeing clearly after age 40.
We offer quality eye care products with the best optics to give you great vision at every age.