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Presbyopia and Aging

Contact your North Reading, MA Eye Doctor to Find Out About Treatment Options

Presbyopia is an age-related condition in which objects at a close range, such as newspapers, books or sewing, become blurred. As people around the world are reaching older ages, a larger number of people develop presbyopia, which currently cannot be avoided.

Theories about the cause of presbyopia are that the eyes' lenses will often harden around age 40, making it more difficult for eyes to focus in on an object, particularly an object close by. Sufferers often deal with the situation by holding a newspaper far away or standing at a distance from the object they want to focus on. Shifting from focusing on far off things to nearer ones can often be strenuous for people with presbyopia. This tension can add further discomfort by causing headaches, eye strain or fatigue.

The most common corrections for presbyopia are bifocals or progressives (PALs). Bifocal lenses have two prescriptions for vision, the main part of the lens has a prescription for viewing things at a distance and the lower portion of the lens is for focusing on things nearby. Progressive lenses use the same principal as bifocals, but they provide a more subtle transition between the two prescriptions. Users will more easily shift visual focus, as they might if they had normal eyesight. A third option is reading glasses which, unlike bifocals or PALs which are worn continually, are used only when needed.

Presbyopes can also use multifocal contact lenses or monovision lens correction (when one eye is prescribed a correction for distance vision and the other near vision) to correct the vision impairment. People react differently to multifocal lenses, so it may take a while to determine if and in what combination they work for you.

In addition, there are surgical options that could be considered that you may want to discuss with your optometrist. A significant number of people are most successful combining options for presbyopia. Additionally, because your vision will continue to deteriorate with age, it is likely that you will need to keep adapting your prescription. The good news is, there continues to be a significant amount of research being done to identify more and perhaps more permanent treatments for presbyopia.

Noticing symptoms of presbyopia? Schedule a visit with your North Reading, MA eye doctor. Better eyesight is just a quick call away!


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