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What is Presbyopia?

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

#Presbyopia is an eye condition in which a person's ability to focus quickly on close things gradually worsens. It is a condition that affects everyone as they age naturally. Presbyopia commonly appears early to mid-40's and worsens until one reaches the age of 65.

The proteins in the lens undergo age-related changes, making the lens harder and less elastic over time. The muscle fibres that surround the lens undergo age-related alterations as well. It becomes more difficult for the eyes to focus on close things as their flexibility decreases.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

1) A desire to hold reading materials farther away from one's face in order to see the letters more clearly.

2) Blurred vision when reading at a typical distance

3) Headaches or eyestrain when reading or conducting close-up work

These signs and symptoms usually occur after the age of 40.

Moving items farther away from your eyes reduces their size, so this is unfortunately only a temporary and partial solution.

Even if you can still see nearby objects clearly, presbyopia can still induce headaches, eye strain, and visual fatigue, making reading and other near vision tasks less comfortable and tiring.

Treatments for Presbyopia

There are no cures but there are many ways to improve it.

1) Bifocals - These are eyeglasses with two different prescriptions in one lens. The top part is to correct distance vision while the lower part helps you to see objects up close.

2) Progressive lenses - similar to bifocals except instead of separate parts, there is a gentle or blended transition between the two prescriptions.

3) Contact lenses

• Multifocal lenses: which come in soft or gas-permeable versions

• Monovision lenses: one lens helps you see objects at a distance. The other is for close-up vision

4) Surgery

• Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) can be used to create monovision. This adjustment corrects one eye for near vision and the other eye for distance.

• Refractive lens exchange involves the removal of your natural lens. It’s replaced with a synthetic lens, called an intraocular lens implant, inside your eye.

Prevention is always better than cure!

Everyone is affected by the gradual loss of the ability to focus on close up things. Everyone can help protect their vison with these steps:

• Wear sunglasses

• Using the right power of eyeglasses - prescribed by your optometrists

• Making sure there is good lighting when reading

• Get regular eye examinations

• Eat healthy diet with foods containing antioxidants, vitamin A and beta carotene

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