Is Presbyopia Affecting Your Vision?
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Presbyopia (pres-bee-oh-pee-uh) is an age-related loss of near vision that occurs naturally as we age; it affects everyone at some point, starting around the age of 40 and progressively getting worse until around age 65.2 As eye care professionals, we often talk about the three major milestones of vision, and presbyopia represents the 2nd vision milestone.
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Presbyopia is the reason that people start to use reading glasses in mid-life, even if they previously had perfect vision.
To understand why presbyopia happens, you need to know a bit about the anatomy of your eye. The way you see an image is a result of the way that light filters into your eye. Light first goes through the cornea, which is the clear part of the front of your eye. It then enters the lens, which is clear and about the same shape and size as an M&M candy. The lens is flexible and moves in order to properly send the light to your retina, which is a layer of photosensitive cells at the back of the eye. Your retina then sends signals to your brain.
Presbyopia is essentially a dysfunction of the lens. As we age, the lens begins to stiffen and become less flexible. This stiffening causes the lens to lose the ability to zoom in and results in difficulty to see up close. The less flexible the lens becomes with age, the harder it is to clearly see a text message, read a label, or do certain hobbies like crafting, woodwork, or putting bait on your fish hook.
Reading glasses are typically the front-line solution for presbyopia, and if you already had eyeglasses or contact lenses for myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism, then you are looking at bi-focals, trifocals, or the dreaded progressive glasses . The thing is that a lot of people hate wearing reading glasses , sometimes because they don’t like the way they look or the difficulty it adds doing certain things with them on. Other times, from the frustration of the on-off-on-off struggle as you switch between near and far tasks. This can lead to the problem of constantly misplacing your readers. We hear some patients say, “It is not fair, I need reading glasses to find my reading glasses.”
Luckily, we can help. At Parkhurst NuVision, we are dedicated to offering a full range of vision correction solutions. Your eyes are unique and we’ll work with you to create a customized treatment plan that restores your vision and improves your quality of life.
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Yes, if you had LASIK you will still experience presbyopia at some point. LASIK corrects imperfections in your cornea, but presbyopia is a problem with the lens.
Nope, unfortunately presbyopia will happen to all of us at some point. There are no eye exercises or supplements that can prevent your lens from stiffening.
Presbyopia can be diagnosed during a routine eye exam with your eye doctor.
This varies from person to person, but most people start to notice a change in their near vision in their early to mid-forties. People can develop presbyopia in their 30’s (this is called premature presbyopia) and some people don’t notice changes until their 50’s.
Farsightedness (hyperopia) and presbyopia are two different types of refractive errors. The difference is in the part of your eye that is affected. Farsightedness, which is usually genetic and occurs in adolescence, is due to an abnormality on your cornea. Presbyopia is an age-related change in the lens of the eye.
Sick of buying yet another pair of reading glasses because you misplaced them or forgot to bring yours with you? Imagine the freedom of never needing them again! The highly experienced eye doctors at Parkhurst NuVision can help. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule your consultation appointment.
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1 Zebardast N, Friedman DS, Vitale S. The prevalence and demographic associations of presenting near-vision impairment among adults living in the United States. Am J Ophthalmol. 2017;174: 134–144.
2 Mayo Clinic. Presbyopia. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/presbyopia/symptoms-causes/syc-20363328 Accessed October 5, 2021.