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Presbyopia

What is it?

Presbyopia usually occurs beginning at around age 40, when people experience blurred near vision when reading, sewing or working at the computer.

You can’t escape presbyopia, even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. Even people who are shortsighted will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.

Symptoms & Causes

When people develop presbyopia, they find they need to hold books, magazines, newspapers, menus and other reading materials at arm’s length in order to focus properly. When they perform near work, such as embroidery or handwriting, they may develop headaches, eye strain or feel fatigued.

Presbyopia is caused by an age-related process. This differs from astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness, which are related to the shape of the eyeball and are caused by genetic and environmental factors. Presbyopia generally is believed to stem from a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye.

These age-related changes occur within the proteins in the lens, making the lens harder and less elastic over time. Age-related changes also take place in the muscle fibers surrounding the lens. With less elasticity, the eye has a harder time focusing up close. Other, less popular theories exist as well.

Eyewear treatment

Eyeglasses with bifocal or varifocals are the most common correction for presbyopia. Bifocal means two points of focus: the main part of the spectacle lens contains a prescription for distance vision, while the lower portion of the lens holds the stronger near prescription for close work.

Varifocals addition lenses are similar to bifocal lenses, but they offer a more gradual visual transition between the two prescriptions, with no visible line between them.

Reading glasses are another choice. Unlike bifocals and varifocals, which most people wear all day, reading glasses typically are worn just during close work.

Source: All About Vision



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