Presbyopia

In presbyopia, people lose the ability of their eyes to focus on the objects that are nearby. It is a natural condition of the ageing process. That is why it is also known as the ageing eye condition. The lens of the eye stiffens as you grow which make it tough for you to focus when you read something from an arm’s length. This condition develops slowly. People generally notice presbyopia in the mid-40s. This age-related condition gets worse when you are around 65 years old. There is no way to escape from presbyopia even if you did not face any vision problem earlier in life. You generally get to know about presbyopia when you hold newspapers, mobile phones, and magazines in your hand in order to read. A basic examination of eyes is conducted to confirm the diagnosis. This problem can be corrected with the help of contact lenses or eyeglasses. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend you to go for a surgery. It is a normal change that occurs with age. It is a symptom of ageing that you cannot ignore and hide.

Symptoms

Due to presbyopia, you are not able to read magazines and newspapers properly when you keep them at arm’s length. That is why in order to read, you have to keep the reading materials or other objects far from your eyes. This condition develops gradually. People generally notice the symptoms or signs of presbyopia after the age of 40 years. Check out various common symptoms of presbyopia that people experience:

-  People have a blurred vision problem when they keep the reading materials or other objects for reading at a normal reading distance.

-  People have headaches or eyestrain after doing some close-up work or reading a book, newspaper or other reading materials.

-  People suffering from the presbyopia condition generally have a tendency to hold the reading material far from a normal reading distance in order to read easily and clearly.

These signs get worse in various situations including when you are tired and sitting in an area which has a dim light.

Causes

Your eye depends on the lens and the cornea to focus on the reflected light from objects, in order to form an image. If the object is closer, then the lens flexes more. Presbyopia is a natural condition and a part of the ageing process. This is different from astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness that occur due to environmental and genetic factors. Presbyopia occurs when the lens hardens and the lens becomes hard with the age. When your lens becomes less flexible or hard, it is not in the position to change the shape in order to focus on the images that are close. Due to this, the images look out of focus. There are some other theories also related to this but they are less popular.

How is it diagnosed?

Presbyopia can be easily diagnosed by a basic eye examination. The basic eye examination includes a health examination of the eyes and a refraction assessment.

- Refraction assessment: A refraction assessment is conducted in order to check if you are suffering from presbyopia, astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. In order to determine this, your doctor will use some instruments and ask you to see through many lenses to check your close-up or distance vision.

- Eye health examination: For conducting an eye health exam, your doctor will probably put a few drops in your eyes for dilating your pupils. There is a chance that the drops can make your eyes sensitive to light for some hours after the eye health examination. This helps your doctor to see inside your eyes clearly.

It has been recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology that adults should have a complete examination of eyes every:

-  5 - 10 years if they are under the age of 40 years

-  2 - 4 years if they are between the age group of 40 - 54 years

-  1 - 3 years if they are between the age group of 55 - 64 years

-  1 - 2 years if they are beginning at 65 years

Frequent eye examinations are needed if you require contact lenses or glasses or are prone to an eye disease.

Prevention

It is not possible to prevent yourself from presbyopia. But you can protect your vision and eyes by following certain guidelines including:

-  It is important that you visit a doctor regularly for the complete examination of your eyes. It should be done even if you do not face any problem in seeing.

-  You should protect your eyes from the sunlight. To protect your eyes, you can wear sunglasses or glasses that will help to block ultraviolet radiation. This is more important if your doctor has prescribed you medicines that increase your responsiveness to ultraviolet radiation and you work for a long time in the sun.

-  You should always eat healthy food. Your diet should include a lot of fruits, and green vegetables. These food items contain antioxidants at high levels, beta-carotene, and vitamin A. They also help you in maintaining a healthy vision.

-  You should always use the right eyeglass in order to optimize your vision. That is why you should have a regular eye examination as it ensures that your eyeglass is as per your power.

-  You should not work in dim light instead, you should work in good lighting. You should add or turn up light so that you can have a better vision.

-  If you are experiencing these symptoms including blurred or sudden hazy vision, a problem of double vision, halos or black spots around lights, sudden loss in the vision of one eye without or with pain, or see light flashes then you should visit a doctor immediately as sometimes it can lead to serious complications.

-  You should prevent yourself from eye injuries. During certain things including mowing the lawn, or painting with toxic fumes, and playing sports, you should use protective eyewear.

-  You should control the health conditions that are chronic including high blood pressure and diabetes. These health conditions can affect your vision if not treated properly on time.

Treatment

Treatment is given so that your eyes are able to focus on the nearby objects easily. The various treatment options that are available for presbyopia are wearing correct eyeglasses, wearing correct contact lens, going for refractive surgery and getting a lens implanted.

- Eyeglasses: It is the simplest and safest way to solve the vision problems that occur due to presbyopia. There is a possibility that you can use the non-prescribed reading glasses if before developing presbyopia you had uncorrected and good vision. But you should confirm with your doctor before wearing nonprescribed glasses. Generally, most of the nonprescribed glasses range from +1.00 D to +3.00 D.

- Contact lens: There are people who do not like to use eyeglasses and want to go for contact lenses in order to improve the vision loss occurred due to presbyopia. But this treatment option does not work in certain situations related to the tear ducts, the surfaces of the eyes including dry eye, or eyelids. There are several types of lens available including bifocal contact lenses, modified monovision, and monovision contact lenses.

- Refractive surgery: The shape of one's cornea can be changed by refractive surgery. This treatment is useful for presbyopia to improve the non-dominant eye's close-up vision. It is similar to wearing monovision contact lenses. One may need to use eyeglasses for close-up work even after surgery. Before going for refractive surgery, you should check with your doctor and ask if there is any side effect of this procedure. You should know that this procedure is not reversible.

- Lens implants: In lens implants, the lens is removed by the ophthalmologist from each eye and it is replaced with a lens that is synthetic. The synthetic lens is called an intraocular lens. There are many types of lens implants available for solving the problem of presbyopia. Some lens implants help to see the objects that are at a distance and nearby. Some lens implants help to change the shape or position within the eye. There is a limitation of lens implants that it reduces the quality of your close-up vision and you may also require glasses.

Complications

Check out various complications associated with presbyopia:

-  If you do not diagnose or correct your vision on time properly then your presbyopia will probably deteriorate with time. This will affect your lifestyle. There is a possibility that you may experience a problem of visual disability if no correction is made on time.

-  Due to presbyopia, you are not able to read the small print properly. If this situation remains untreated for a long time then it can increase the risk of eyestrain and headaches.

-  Because of presbyopia, you will face various problems while maintaining your productivity in the workplace and daily activities.

-  There is a possibility that presbyopia can combine with nearsightedness or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia, or astigmatism.

-  There is a chance that you may have a different type of problem in each eye.

Myths

Myth #1: Treating presbyopia can make it worse.

If you will leave presbyopia untreated then it will make your life harder as you will find a difficulty in reading the letters that are small. If you are already suffering from a myopia condition then you have to take off your glasses to see the nearby objects clearly. Treatment for presbyopia will let you enjoy your life to the fullest as you used to earlier and it will also help you to see sharply once again.

Myth #2: Fewer options are available for solving the problem of presbyopia.

There are various options available for solving presbyopia. The most common option that is available is eyeglasses. The newest innovation is a multifocal lens with revolutionary technology that optimises focal designs to target the variation in the size of the pupil which is natural depending upon the age and refractive power.

Conclusion

Presbyopia is a natural condition and a part of the ageing process. Due to presbyopia, a person is not able to focus on the nearby objects. It is also referred to as eye ageing condition. You cannot escape for this condition as it develops gradually with age. Eyeglasses, contact lens, refractive surgery and lens implants are the various treatment options available for correcting the problem of presbyopia. You can prevent your vision and eyes by following good health practices including eating a lot of fruits and green vegetables. A lot of complications are associated with presbyopia. It is important that you diagnose and correct your vision otherwise it can lead to a complication. People have many misconceptions or myths about presbyopia. Treating presbyopia can make it worse is one of the common myths. The reality is that treating presbyopia makes your situation better instead of worsening it. So, it is important that you go for regular check-ups and correct your vision problem before it is too late.

If you want to get the answers to various questions including:

-  What is presbyopia?

-  What are the symptoms or signs of presbyopia?

-  What are the causes of presbyopia?

-  How is presbyopia diagnosed?

-  How is presbyopia prevented?

-  How is presbyopia treated?

-  What are the complications that are associated with presbyopia?

-  What are the myths of presbyopia?

Then this article would be very helpful for you.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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