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Presbyopia and Getting Older

Visit your Duluth, MN Optometrist to Learn More About Treatment Options

Presbyopia is a visual impairment related to aging in which the ability to focus on close objects becomes reduced. As people worldwide are living longer, a larger number of individuals develop presbyopia, which is an unavoidable result of your aging eye.

Your eye's lenses bend when focusing on objects at differing distances. Some theories are that with age, that elasticity is reduced since the lenses harden. This phenomenon is known as presbyopia and is often first noticed by an increased difficulty focusing on things at a close distance. This usually starts to happen around the age of 40. Those with the condition often manage with the reduced vision by holding the paper far away or standing away from the object they want to focus on. Transitions from looking at distant things to nearer ones are often strenuous for those with presbyopia. This strain could add to one's discomfort by causing eye strain, fatigues or headaches.

Most commonly bifocals or progressives (PALs) are used to correct this condition. Bifocal lenses are separated into two points of focus, one is for seeing things from a distance and a second, lower portion for looking at things that are close by. Progressive lenses use the same principal as bifocal lenses, but the transitions between the two prescriptions are more gradual and have no visible distinction between them. Users will more easily change visual focus, as they could with normal eyesight. Another option is reading glasses which are usually worn just when needed as opposed to all day.

Presbyopes can also consider multifocal contact lenses or monovision lens correction (in which one eye is prescribed a correction for distance vision and the other near vision) to improve the condition. It may take a couple of attempts to figure out the best method and type of contacts because different prescriptions can have an effect on your comfort or distance vision.

There are also options for other procedures including surgery that could be considered that may be worth discussing with your optometrist. Many people find the most success by using a combination of treatments for presbyopia. Additionally, since your eyesight will likely deteriorate with age, it is likely that you will be required to keep adapting the strength of your correction. With the population growing older, there is quite a bit of research being done to discover additional effective treatments for presbyopia.

Noticing symptoms of presbyopia? Call for a visit with your Duluth, MN optometrist. Improved vision is only a quick call away!