What Is Presbyopia And How Do I Know If I Have It?
There are a lot of things that we can do to prepare for growing older. We can follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Paying attention to our finances to make sure that there will be adequate funds for those years after retirement will definitely add to quality of life. Even taking steps to relocate away from cold and brutal winters is something that we can do to manage how we experience the aging process. But, there are some things that are going to happen that are beyond our powers to affect. One of them is presbyopia.
Ask a dozen random people walking down the street about presbyopia, and it is likely that many of them will not have any idea what you are talking about. They will all know about the jokes people make as someone gets older and has to hold reading material farther and farther away, but not about why that is happening. This is a great example of why regular eye care appointments are so important, because, aware of what it is or not, presbyopia is likely to be in everyone’s future.
Presbyopia is a condition of aging in which the eye loses its ability to shift from distance to near vision. Typically, this starts happening sometime after 40, and it affects those with excellent vision just the same as those who have had to wear corrective lenses for years. Often mistaken for farsightedness, they are not caused by the same thing. Farsightedness has to do with the eyeball being misshapen and resulting in light being focused beyond the retina instead of on it. Presbyopia is due to the lens, which starts out soft and easily able to change shape, losing flexibility as it hardens with age. This results in the eyes becoming less able to adjust to focus on near objects.
How To Tell That You Have Presbyopia
Your ophthalmologist will be able to diagnose presbyopia with an eye exam. If you are over forty and have noticed the following, there is a good chance that it may be the cause:
- The need to hold reading material farther away than in the past
- Blurred vision or inability to properly focus at a normal reading distance
- Headaches or fatigue from doing close work
While there is, currently, no way to prevent or cure presbyopia, there are various options for counteracting the effects it has on your vision. Some of these include:
- Reading glasses – bend light before it enters the eye and compensate for difficulty in focusing on close objects
- Bifocals – correct for close and far vision
- Trifocals – correct for close, mid-range and far vision
- Progressives – same as bifocals and trifocals but change from one vision area to next is gradual and without a clear line
- Contact lenses – monovision and multifocal types
- Refractive surgery – laser surgery that reshapes the cornea
- Lens implants
There may be other options that are, or become, available that would better suit your particular needs. As previously mentioned, presbyopia is a good example of the wisdom in having regular, yearly eye exams with an experienced eye care professional, who can prepare you for what to expect and offer the best choices for your particular situation.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of presbyopia, Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts is ready to provide high-quality, comprehensive care in our three convenient Long Island office locations. For more information about dry eye, or if you have other questions or comments, please call the office most convenient to you, Bellmore, Little Neck, Great Neck or Huntington. If you would like to schedule an appointment, simply click here to go to our online scheduler.