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What is Presbyopia?

Ever wonder why even people who never wore glasses have a hard time seeing things up close when they reach middle age? Because as you age, your eye's lens grows increasingly inflexible, making it less able to focus on close objects. That, in a nutshell, is presbyopia. And, it's something that affects everyone.

To prevent eyestrain, people with undiagnosed presbyopia may hold reading material at arm's length to be able to focus properly. In addition to reading, performing other close-range activities, such as embroidery or writing, could also cause headaches, eyestrain or fatigue. When handling presbyopia, it's good to know that there are a few alternatives available, whether you currently wear glasses, contacts or nothing at all.

One of the most common choices is reading glasses, though these are mostly efficient for those who wear contacts or for people who don't already wear glasses for problems with distance vision. You can get these glasses almost anywhere, but it's best not to get them until you have spoken with an eye care professional. The reason for this is that reading glasses may help for brief periods of reading but they can cause fatigue with prolonged use. A more beneficial alternative to pharmacy reading glasses are custom made ones. These are able to fix astigmatism, compensate for prescriptions that vary between the two eyes, and on top of that, the optic centers of every lens are adjusted to meet the needs of the wearer. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.

If you already wear glasses for near sightedness, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses (PALs). These are eyeglasses that have separate points of focus; the bottom section helps you see nearby objects. If you use contacts, meet with us to discuss multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment approach which is called monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Because your sight changes as time goes on, you can expect your prescription to increase periodically. But it's also necessary to research your various choices before you choose the direction you want head in when it comes to your vision; presbyopia can affect you, even if you've had refractive surgery.

We recommend you speak to your eye doctor for an unbiased opinion. Presbyopia is a reality of aging, but the decisions you make about how to handle it is in your hands.


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