Presbyopia Causes and How to Treat It
Everyone will experience a vision issue known as presbyopia, and there is no way to avoid it. If you are holding your smartphone farther away to read it or are having trouble seeing the dashboard of your car, you most likely are experiencing presbyopia. Since it is inevitable, let’s uncover presbyopia causes and how to treat it.
The Cause of Presbyopia
As we age our bodies change. Certain physical activities we could easily do in our twenties become more difficult in our forties. It is a fact of life and our vision is no different. We never had any problem changing focus from near to far and back again. All this changes as we age and is a sign of presbyopia.
This change happens around age forty as the clear lens inside our eyes loses its ability to change focus naturally. Similar to aging muscles, the lens becomes stiff and less flexible. Just like the lens in a camera needs to change focus to obtain a clear picture, the lens in our eyes must be able to make that adjustment for clear vision.
With the onset of presbyopia our ability to see up close becomes compromised. We find ourselves holding reading materials further and further away to regain focus. Many of us laugh about it, but it is a real challenge and one most of us don’t accept easily.
We squint, we find it hard to read labels, and tend to avoid any close up work. But most of us cannot go through life without our near vision. We need our close up vision in our occupations, many recreational activities and hobbies. It becomes a visual disability.
Simple Presbyopia Fixes
Luckily there are multiple ways to treat presbyopia and give us back our near vision. You don’t have to go through life without doing the things you love or are required for your job.
For many patients experiencing presbyopia the simplest treatment is a pair of prescription reading glasses. For those patients with no other vision issues, this is an acceptable and easy way to treat presbyopia. They only need to use them for near vision like reading.
Patients who already wear glasses for refractive errors now can change their prescriptions to accommodate for presbyopia. Bifocals or progressive lenses will give these patients the ability to see at multiple distances. You can choose either bifocals with a definitive line on the lenses, or without any obvious lens line known as progressive lenses. In both cases you must wear these glasses to see at either distance.
Monovision Contact Lenses
If a patient already wears contact lenses for a refractive error, then the eye care professionals at Cedar Park Vision may recommend monovision contact lenses to treat presbyopia. In this situation a patient’s dominant eye is corrected for distance vision and the other eye for close up vision.
Not everyone can tolerate monovision so a trial time will be necessary. Depth perception is somewhat compromised but many patients are thrilled with this convenient treatment for presbyopia.
Cataracts and Presbyopia
Cataracts are another result of aging. They normally come later in life and must be removed for clear healthy vision. In addition to losing flexibility and the ability to accommodate, our lens becomes cloudy and yellows as we get older. This cloudy lens is a cataract and it diminishes vision.
Patients who have been wearing bifocals, progressive lenses or even movovision contact lenses for presbyopia for a number of years can get an added bonus when they have cataract surgery.
The replacement lens can provide the opportunity to restore near vision. These artificial lenses known as intra-ocular lenses (IOLs) are available to correct many visual issues. An eye care professional like those at Cedar Park Vision can help you decide on the perfect lens for you and your lifestyle. They work closely with cataract surgeons to prepare you for your cataract surgery and help with the follow up care.
LASIK and Presbyopia
LASIK does not correct presbyopia, but a patient who is nearsighted and presbyopic can decide to have LASIK performed creating the same scenario as monovision contacts. If you already wear your contacts this way, it is an easy transition. If you have never experienced monovision, you will need to try it first with contact lenses to be sure you can tolerate the change.
Only an experienced eye care professional can make the right recommendations to treat presbyopia and your eyes.
No matter your age, you can trust your vision to the doctors and staff at Cedar Park Vision.
If you are having trouble with your near vision and think you may be developing presbyopia, contact Cedar Park Vision for a comprehensive eye exam.