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Presbyopia: Managing the Inevitable

Did you ever wonder why older people prefer books with larger font sizes? With age, the lens of your eye is likely to become less flexible, decreasing your ability to focus on near objects. We call this presbyopia. It’s something that eventually happens to everyone.

To prevent having to strain their eyes, people with untreated presbyopia tend to hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm’s length to be able to focus properly. In addition to reading, other close-range activities, for example, embroidery or handwriting, could also cause eyestrain and discomfort. When it comes to correcting presbyopia, you have a number of options, regardless of whether you are a glasses or contact lens wearer.

The thing with reading glasses is that they are generally most useful for contact lens wearers or for those who don’t need to wear glasses for distance vision. These are readily available, but it is not recommended to buy a pair until you’ve had a full eye examination. This is because reading glasses may be handy for short periods of time but they can eventually lead to eyestrain when people wear them for a long time.

If you already wear glasses, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people find really easy to wear. These are eyeglasses that have multiple points of focus; the lower portion has the prescription for seeing at close range. If you already wear contacts, it’s recommended to speak to your optometrist to discuss multifocal contact lenses. There’s also a treatment technique called monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Plan to routinely check and possibly adjust the strength of your lenses, because eyes slowly change as you get older, especially after middle age. Presbyopia can affect older individuals even after refractive surgery, so it is important to understand all the options before making decisions about your vision care.

Have to chat with your eye doctor for an informed perspective. We can help you deal with presbyopia and your changing vision in a way that is best for you.

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