Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the lens loses its flexibility, making it difficult to focus on close objects. During the early and middle years of life, the crystalline lens of the eye has the ability to focus both near and distant images by getting thicker for near objects and thinner for distant objects. When this ability is lost, presbyopia results.
Symptoms of presbyopia:
- Blurry close vision that starts after age 40
- Difficulty adjusting focus when switching from near to distance vision
- Eye fatigue along with headaches when doing close work
As we age, the lenses in the eyes lose some of their elasticity (Roll your mouse over the image to change it)
Causes of presbyopia:
- Age: As we age, the lenses in the eyes lose some of their elasticity, and without elasticity they lose some of their ability to change focus for different distances. Presbyopia may seem to occur suddenly, but the actual loss of flexibility takes place over a number of years. Long before an individual is aware that seeing close up is becoming more difficult, the lenses in the eyes have begun losing their ability to flatten and thicken. Only when the loss of elasticity impairs vision to a noticeable degree is the change recognized. Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-forties.
A comprehensive examination will include testing for presbyopia. Your eye doctor can conduct a refractive evaluation to determine whether your eyes focus light rays exactly on the retina at distance and near. A visual acuity test will determine your ability to see sharply and clearly at all distances. Your eye doctor will also check your eye coordination and muscle control, as well as your eyes’ ability to change focus. All of these are important factors in how your eyes see.
Treatment of presbyopia:
Reading glasses and contact lenses are used by many for the temporary treatment of presbyopia. However, there are a number of vision correction procedures that can surgically reduce or eliminate the effects of presbyopia. Some presbyopic patients like monovision, which allows them to see distance clearly in one eye and close-up clearly with the other eye.
Monovision is a technique where one eye (usually the dominant eye) is corrected for clear distance vision, and the other eye is corrected for comfortable near vision. Monovision allows a person to see close objects clearly with one eye and distance objects clearly with the other eye. The vision part of the brain tends to filter out the image from the eye that is not in clear focus, so those who have monovision eventually do not pay attention to the eye that is not as clearly focused. Those who have monovision are often able to see well enough both at distance and near to do things at any age without corrective lenses.
Monovision can be achieved with contact lenses or with vision correction procedures by correcting the non-dominant eye for near vision and the dominant eye for distance vision. If you are considering a vision correction procedure, your doctor can put you into monovision contact lenses so you can try it before you permanently correct your eyes with monovision.
Most people’s brains automatically get used to monovision within a couple of weeks or months. In our experience, most people over the age of 40 to 45 who try monovision and take the time to fully become accustomed to it, like it and find it very useful.