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Walter Shurminsky O.D.

Home » News and Events » Middle Age and Presbyopia

Middle Age and Presbyopia

Ever wonder why older people prefer books with larger font sizes? As time passes, the lens of your eye becomes more rigid, which makes it harder to focus on near objects. This is known as presbyopia.

Those with undiagnosed presbyopia tend to hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length in order to focus properly. Additionally, engaging in other close-range activities, like crafts or writing, can also lead to headaches, eyestrain or fatigue. When rectifying the symptoms of presbyopia, you have a number of options, regardless of whether you are a glasses or contact lens wearer.

Reading glasses are helpful but are generally most useful for contact lens wearers or for people who don't already need glasses for problems with distance vision. These are readily available, but it's best not to purchase a pair until you have been examined by your eye care professional. The reason for this is that reading glasses may help for quick periods of time but they can eventually cause fatigue with prolonged use.

If you already wear glasses, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which are quite popular. Essentially, these are glasses that have multiple points of focus, and the lower part of the lens is where there is a prescription that helps you focus on things right in front of you. If you already wear contacts, it's worthwhile to talk to your optometrist about multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment technique known as monovision, where you wear a contact lens to correct near sightedness in one eye and another to correct far sightedness in the other eye.

Since your vision continues to change as time goes on, it's fair to anticipate adjusting your prescription periodically. Presbyopia is seen in people 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. Presbyopia is an inevitability of getting older, but the decisions you make about how to handle it is always up to you.