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Middle Age and Presbyopia

man wearing glassesWhen you approach your 40s, you might begin to notice that you have some trouble with reading. Why? Because as you age, the lens of your eye is likely to become less flexible, making it challenging to focus on handheld objects. This is called presbyopia. It's something that eventually happens to all of us.

People with untreated presbyopia may hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length to be able to focus properly. In addition to reading, engaging in other close-range activities, such as needlepoint or handwriting, can also lead to eye strain and discomfort. For people who are ready to do something about presbyopia, you have a few alternatives available, which take your eyewear preferences into account.

A common solution is reading glasses, but these are generally most efficient for contact lens wearers or for people who don't already wear glasses for problems with distance vision. You can buy these basically anywhere, but it is not recommended to get them until you have seen the results of a proper eye exam. Too often ''over-the-counter'' reading glasses may help for brief periods of reading but they can eventually lead to eyestrain when people overwear them.

If you already have glasses, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people respond really well to. Essentially, these are glasses with 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 best to talk to your optometrist to discuss multifocal contact lenses. Additionally, you may be able to benefit from a treatment technique which is called monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Due to the fact that your sight changes with age, you can expect your prescription to increase periodically. Presbyopia could be a problem for older individuals even after refractive surgery, so it is it's worthwhile to take the time to find out about all the options before making decisions about your vision care.

We recommend you speak to your optometrist for an unbiased opinion. We can give you the tools to help you deal with presbyopia and your changing eye sight in a way that's both beneficial and accessible.


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