Presbyopia occurs when the lens of the eye loses its elasticity and ability to change focus, diminishing close-range vision. Presbyopia often sets in as people reach their mid-forties and occurs even when corrective measures for other conditions, such as LASIK, have been performed.
Normal Vision: Light rays pass through the cornea to merge and focus perfectly on the back surface of the eye, called the retina, producing clear vision.
Presbyopia: In the natural processes of aging, the protein composition of the lens changes, making it harder and less flexible. The lens of the eye loses some of its elasticity and therefore its ability to change focus. Beginning sometime during our mid-forties, presbyopia diminishes close-range vision. This natural condition occurs even if LASIK has been performed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
Symptoms of Presbyopia
In addition to visual impairment at close range, other symptoms of presbyopia include:
- Fatigue when working or performing tasks within close range
- Needing to hold reading materials at arm’s length
Treatment of Presbyopia
Presbyopia will likely happen to everyone since it is a part of the natural aging process. Fortunately, several treatment options are available including:
- Eyeglasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses
- Reading glasses
- Multifocal contact lenses
Visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s webpage on Presbyopia.