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Presbyopia

There comes the time in life when the ability to read at a close distance becomes difficult due to natural changes within the eye. The name for this occurrence is PRESBYOPIA. The most common remark made by patients at this time is "my arms are not long enough!” Other common observations are difficulty focusing from a near to distant object and back again.

These symptoms are normally gradual but can occur suddenly and usually start around the age of forty. The causes of Presbyopia are located within the eye at the crystalline lens. This is the part of the eye that controls our ability to change focus from distance to near and vice versa. The lens continually grows thicker from birth to death and loses elasticity as it does so.

The loss of elasticity cause the delay in focusing and reduction of focusing power of the lens, which is why reading glasses need to be prescribed to compensate for this. The loss of focus is rapid initially and tends to slow down after about fifty years of age. The Presbyopia change occurs earlier with women than men because their arms tend to be shorter than men’s and also start earlier the more long sighted a patient is. Short sighted patients have the luxury of not requiring a reading prescription sometimes until they are fifty!

The only way to alleviate the blurring of the vision is to prescribe reading glasses or a multifocal lens, such as a bifocal or a varifocal. There are also contact lenses available for certain prescriptions in a multifocal format.

Remember Presbyopia is a natural change. It is not caused by over wearing glasses and avoiding glasses does not delay the onset of the changes in prescription. They are myths!

Normal Sight Vision with Presbyopia

pdficon large Presbyopia - Download PDF from The Eye Care Trust with more infomation.