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.