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Home » What's New » Aging and Your Eyesight – Presbyopia

Aging and Your Eyesight – Presbyopia

Many adults experience presbyopia or an impaired ability to focus on things that are close, as they age. As people around the world are reaching older ages, more and more individuals develop the condition, which currently cannot be escaped.

Your eye’s lenses curve to focus on objects at varying distances. Some believe that as you get older, that elasticity diminishes because the natural lenses thicken. This phenomenon is called presbyopia and is defined by difficulty focusing on things at close range. This usually begins to take place around the age of 40. Sufferers often manage with the situation by holding a newspaper far away or standing at a distance from the object they are looking at. Shifting from looking at distant objects to closer ones is often strenuous for those with presbyopia. This stress might worsen the situation by causing headaches, eye strain or fatigue.

The most popular solutions for correcting presbyopia are bifocal lenses or progressive addition lenses (PALs). A bifocal lens has two prescriptions for vision, the upper portion is for distance vision and a second, lower portion for seeing things that are close by. Progressive lenses are similar to bifocals, however the transitions between the two prescriptions are more gradual and have no clear distinction between them. Users can more easily adjust visual focus, as they would with standard sight. An alternative would be reading glasses which are usually worn just when needed as opposed to all day.

If contact lenses are preferred over glasses, you might want to consider multifocal contacts. It may take a while to decide upon the best method and type of contacts due to the fact that different prescriptions can affect your comfort or distance vision.

There are also surgical options available that may be worth discussing with your eye doctor. Many people are most successful combining treatments for presbyopia. Additionally, because presbyopia will continue to get worse as you get older, you will probably be required to continually adjust the strength of your prescription. The positive news is, there is quite a bit of research being done to identify more and perhaps more permanent solutions for the growing number of people dealing with presbyopia.

Seeing signs of presbyopia? Call for a check up with your Lexington, KY optometrist. Improved vision is just a phone call away!