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Presbyopia

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Presbyopia

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a refractive condition which many of us may end up experiencing as we age. It is a natural part of the ageing process. It affects the ability to see objects clearly, this is due to hardening of the lens which causes the eye to reflect light behind the retina rather than directly onto it when looking at objects close by.

What are the causes of presbyopia?

Presbyopia differs from other refractive eye conditions such as long sightedness and short sightedness. As we age, changes begin to occur in the lens of the eye such as loss of proteins in the lens, making it harden and lose elasticity over time. Muscle fibres around the lens can also begin to weaken over time which also contributes to this condition.

What are the most common presbyopia signs and symptoms?

Presbyopia symptoms occur very gradually. As we get older, we may begin to notice that we can’t see written print as clearly, this can happen initially when the light is dim and the print is small. We may move the print further away from us and increase the light so we can try and focus.

The gradual onset of presbyopia may show symptoms such as; not being able to see so well in the dark, not seeing print very clearly and needing to move it away, difficulties in preparing or eating food, using a phone to communicate… all of these every day struggles will eventually lead to the requirement of prescription reading glasses.

When presbyopia becomes more of problem, some may find that they even experience difficulties locating their prescription glasses when they are needed, unless they are kept on a chain around the neck. This can become very frustrating for elderly people who need to see where they are going, they often end up with several pairs of spectacles in order to ensure they have a pair available for any situation. The alternative solution to help with this ongoing problems would then be surgery.

What is the best treatment for presbyopia?

There are many different options for treatment of presbyopia, the most common being prescription glasses as mentioned above. It is important to seek advice from an optometrist and undergo regular eye examinations to determine your exact requirements.

Reading glasses are one of the most useful tools when assistance is needed to read small print. Multifocal/Progressive lenses are a great way to keep your spectacles on at all times, providing you with vision correction needed for distance and close by objects when looking down.