What Is Presbyopia?
A common side effect that comes with age is losing your near-perfect vision. Suddenly, you realize that you need to squint to see some things.
This can result in eye strain. This steady decline in close up vision is known as presbyopia. If presbyopia isn’t corrected, it can impact your everyday life.
It may make it difficult to read receipts or instructions on your medication. Keep reading to learn more about presbyopia and how to treat it!
Causes of Presbyopia
Presbyopia is a result of issues with the eye lens found behind the pupil and iris. Both the cornea and lens are responsible for refracting incoming light and focusing it on the retina.
Once the light is on the retina, it is then converted into electric signals. These signals are then sent to the brain where they become images.
When you’re younger, the lens is normally flexible and soft. This allows the tiny muscles to change shape easily and enables the lens to focus light.
This is referred to as accommodation. But with age, your muscle fibers and lens gradually lose their elasticity.
The loss of elasticity also leads to the loss of accommodation. This causes the lens to focus light behind your retina, instead of on the retina. As a result, it compromises your ability to see near objects.
What is the Prevalence of Presbyopia?
Most people experience presbyopia at the age of 40 or older. Those older than 35 are still at risk of developing the condition.
The specific risk factors for presbyopia include:
- Eye trauma
- Individuals whose job involve extensive use of their near vision
- Medications such as diuretics and antidepressants
- Systemic illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
Some of the symptoms of presbyopia include:
- Fatigue from doing up-close jobs
- Finding it hard to read small print
- Needing more light to see nearby objects
- Holding reading materials such as magazines at arm’s length to focus properly on the words
While the symptoms of presbyopia and farsightedness are similar, farsightedness is as a result of a cornea that’s too flat.
Diagnosis of Presbyopia
A routine visit to your ophthalmologist can help detect presbyopia. During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor may test your ability to see distant and far objects. They may also dilate your pupils to see the inside of your eyes.
Although there is no cure for presbyopia, there are several ways to treat it.
Your ophthalmologist may give you reading glasses for close-up jobs or reading. You may also have trifocal glasses for correcting near, far, and middle vision.
Your eye doctor may give you prescription bifocal glasses. Bifocals correct your lower near vision when observing through the lower part of your lens and correct distance vision when looking at something at eye level.
Monovision contact lenses
Monovision contact lenses are also available. This involves using one lens to correct near vision and another lens to correct distance vision.
For those that don’t want to wear contacts or glasses, there are other options such as:
- Conductive keratoplasty – Here, radio waves are used to curve the cornea changing light refraction in your eye.
- Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) – RLE involves removing the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens or IOL
- Implanting corneal inlays to replace your hardened, natural lenses.
If you’re tired of wearing reading glasses and not being able to see properly because of presbyopia, talk to your eye doctor! They can recommend the best option for you and your eyes.
Ready to see clearly without the difficulties of presbyopia holding you back? Schedule an appointment at Herschel LASIK and Cataract Institute in Orlando, FL!