Presbyopia is an unavoidable part of normal aging. Even if you've never had vision problems, the struggle to see objects up close will hit most people on or around the age of 40. Along with astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness, presbyopia is 1 of 4 very common imperfections of the eye called refractive errors.
Presbyopia cannot be prevented and almost everyone will experience the condition. The causes are completely natural since the eyes—just like every part of the body—can lose flexibility with time. As eyes get older, the lenses and muscles that used to change size and shape instantly can become hard and sluggish, thereby losing their ability to flex into focus, particularly at near distances.
Although the physical factors affecting lens elasticity and eye muscle strength develop slowly, presbyopia seems to appear suddenly. The age at which the first signs appear may vary slightly, but around 40 you may experience any combination of these symptoms:
- blurred vision at normal reading distances
- fatigue feeling especially after doing close-up work
Finally, you may have seen the most typical behavior associated with presbyopia, which is holding reading materials at arm's length in an attempt to see the page clearly.
Unfortunately, the eye's aging process is likely to continue into age 60 and beyond, so prescription changes may be necessary from time to time.
Having decreased close-up vision can affect your daily life, especially if you never experienced any other eye conditions. Common tasks—such as reading, looking at your cell phone, shaving, signing documents or using a camera or a computer—are now troublesome, which can make you feel self-conscious. Rest assured, once you are diagnosed and your eye care professional provides a prescription, presbyopia can be very manageable. Both contact lenses and glasses are used to correct the condition.
You may start with reading glasses or—if you have other refractive errors—with bifocals, trifocals or eyeglasses with progressive lenses that have different prescription powers in different parts of the lens, so you can correct for various distances simultaneously.
However, if you engage in sports or other activities, want to maintain a certain look or just think eyeglasses are bothersome, consider AIR OPTIX® AQUA Multifocal contact lenses. They are a marvel of technology and a modern, convenient alternative for clear vision.
To learn more about presbyopia, its symptoms and treatments, visit myeyes.com.