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Dr. Inns: What is Presbyopia, and How Is It Treated?

Presbyopia is an eye condition, usually associated with old age, that makes it hard for a person to see at  very close range, making it difficult to perform simple tasks such as reading the small print in a newspaper or menu.

When a person is younger, the lens of the eye is generally soft and flexible. This allows the lens to change shape easily according to visual needs, whether far distance vision or close vision is required. However, as a person ages, and especially after the age of 40, the lens of the eye tends to begin hardening. This hardening makes it more difficult for the lens to change shape as needed, creating difficulties seeing very close up. If a person also has nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, the symptoms of presbyopia will be combined with the symptoms of the other condition(s).

Generally speaking presbyopia is not a dangerous condition, and is extremely common. Your eye doctor will be able to diagnose presbyopia through a normal comprehensive eye exam. Your eye doctor will check your refractive error with a device known as a phoropter, in order to find the proper prescription to correct your presbyopia. You can expect to try out a number of different prescriptions in-office to determine exactly which one offers you the best vision.

Many solutions exist for the issues posed by presbyopia. A few are outlined below:

·         Reading glasses are a very common solution to correct issues with presbyopia. These glasses are only worn during close work like reading or sewing. You can easily find these kinds of occasional glasses at drug stores, and can also get higher end reading glasses prescribed by your eye doctor.

·         Bifocal, trifocal and progressive eyeglasses are another option. This type of eyeglasses may use a single, graded lens or multiple lenses to create two or more areas of vision to help you see at all distances.

·         You may also ask your eye doctor about the possibility of multifocal contact lenses. These contacts are worn exactly as you would normal contacts, and are made just like multifocal eyeglasses, with multiple areas of differing prescription strength, to allow for proper sight at all distances.

·         Monovision is another popular way to correct presbyopia with contact lenses. With this method, one eye is fitted with a contact lens for distance vision, while the other eye is fit for close vision. The brain, being a remarkably adaptable organ, is then able to determine which eye to use for which task.

For more information about Presbyopia and how it's treated, contact Dr. Douglas Inns at Eye Trends in The Woodlands, Texas.

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Dr. Inns is a 1982 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilfred Laurier University, Canada. During his training at the University of Houston, he held positions in research and was a teaching assistant / laboratory instructor.

Postgraduate work includes therapeutic courses at Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the Optometric Glaucoma Specialist Course at the University of Texas Medical School. Dr. Inns has published in Optometry Today and Optometric Management. He also volunteers at the schools in his area.

Dr. Inns and his wife, Lynn, spend much of their spare time calling and visiting with their four boys.

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Amber Draper, Manager

As the manager of The Woodlands office, Amber Draper leads the team with the focus on patient care and assisting with their ophthalmic needs. Having over 10 years experience, Amber can aid patients with the most appropriate lens technology to match their daily needs. Everyone needs at least one pair of sun wear, especially here in Texas.

Amber is a proud graduate of Sam Houston State University with a BA in History, and a minor in Spanish.

In her spare time, she is with family, friends, and enjoying some Houston Texans Football.

Dr. Toups is a 1984 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Northeast Louisiana University.

Being a therapeutically licensed optometrist, Dr. Toups is trained to diagnose and treat ocular conditions. He specializes in contact lenses and he is current with all refractive surgery procedures.

Dr. Toups is married, has five children and has lived in the Houston area since 1980.

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