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Home » What's New » How Age Affects Your Vision – Presbyopia

How Age Affects Your Vision – Presbyopia

Contact your Bethesda, MD Optometrist to Learn More About Treatment Options

Presbyopia is a vision impairment related to aging in which objects at a close range, such as newspapers, books or sewing, become blurred. With the growing worldwide population reaching older ages a larger number of individuals develop the condition, which is an unavoidable result of your aging eye.

Your natural lenses curve when focusing on objects at differing distances. Some theorize that with age, that curvature diminishes since the lenses become thicker. This condition is known as presbyopia and is defined by difficulty reading or seeing objects at close range. This usually begins to take place any time after someone turns forty. Those with presbyopia usually cope with the reduced vision by holding the paper far away or standing back from the object they are looking at. Transitions from focusing on distant objects to closer ones can often be straining for people with presbyopia. This tension might worsen the situation by causing eye strain, fatigues or headaches.

Most of the time bifocal lenses or progressive addition lenses (PALs) are worn to resolve this condition. A bifocal lens is separated into two points of focus, the main part of the lens has a prescription for seeing things from far away and the other part of the lens is for seeing objects that are close by. PALs work similarly to bifocal lenses, but they provide a more gradual gradient between the separate prescriptions and have no visible distinction between them. Users will more easily shift their focus, as they could with normal sight. An alternative would be reading glasses which are usually worn just when needed as opposed to all day.

If contacts are preferable, you might want to consider multifocal contact lenses. People react differently to multifocal lenses, so it may take a few tries to determine if and in what combination they work for you.

There are also surgical options available that you may want to discuss with your eye doctor. Many people are most successful using a combination of options for presbyopia. Additionally, since your vision will likely deteriorate as you get older, you will probably need to keep adapting your prescription. The positive news is, there continues to be quite a bit of experimental treatment on the market currently to discover other and perhaps more permanent solutions for the growing number of people dealing with presbyopia.

If you are starting to see signs of presbyopia, schedule an appointment with your Bethesda, MD optometrist. A return to normal eyesight is only a call away!