Presbyopia is the blurring of close-up vision with age. It is very common and occurs more in the over-45 age group. Sufferers may feel the need to hold books or magazines at arm’s length in order to focus on them properly.
Causes of Presbyopia
Presbyopia is an age-related condition and is attributed to the lens within the eye becoming thicker and losing flexibility as the sufferer grows older. Also, the muscle fibres surrounding the lens become less flexible and are less able to cope with necessary movement and sharp focusing.
The condition of presbyopia should not be confused with astigmatism, near sightedness or farsightedness which is concerned with the shape of the eyeball rather than the eyeball’s ability to focus correctly on near objects as we age.
Symptoms of Presbyopia
Presbyopes tend to hold reading material at arm’s length due to the fuzziness of the print close up. This is also true of any detailed work such as craft work, sewing or needlepoint. If a presbyopia sufferer reads or works close-up, they will often develop eye strain, headaches or a feeling of fatigue.
In the past the most common treatment of presbyopia is the use of bifocal glasses or progressive addition lenses. Bifocals are glasses with a split lens; the upper is used for normal vision and the lower for close-up vision. As bifocals can be quite stark in their appearance and function, progressive addition lenses offer an alternative with a gradual and graded transition between the two focuses.
Bifocals and progressive addition lenses are usually worn by sufferers who already wear glasses. For non-spectacle wearers, reading glasses provide a suitable alternative and are worn only when doing close-up work or reading text.
A number of different multifocal contact lenses are available to treat presbyopia. Although these can take some getting used to, the brain works out which part of the contact lens to look through at the required time. They can come in either soft or rigid/gas permeable lenses. One contact lens option, monovision, corrects the presbyopia in one eye and the brain learns to favour reading with that eye and using the other eye for normal vision.
As the flexibility of the lens and the muscles surrounding it will deteriorate over time, the prescription and strength of the lens will need to be altered accordingly.
New Treatment Option
Now thanks to the Refractive lens exchange procedure available at Advanced Vision Care an increased number of the over 40s age group can reverse the decline in near vision caused by presbyopia.
Using this new treatment option for presbyopia the natural but deteriorating organic lens inside the eye is exchanged for an artificial one, in much the same way as a hip replacement exchanges natural for manmade.
These multifocal intra-ocular lenses allow correction of both distance and reading vision offering patients the chance to be free of the use of spectacles or contact lenses as they grow older. These implanted lenses also have the added benefit of eliminating the development of cataracts in the eyes.
Prevention of Presbyopia
As presbyopia is a natural age-related condition at present there is no possible way to prevent it from occurring, but with Refractive Lens Exchange from Advanced Vision Care once it does occur you can stop it in its tracks.