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Presbyopia and Getting Older


Contact your Memphis, TN Optometrist to Learn More About Treatment Options


Many adults begin to experience presbyopia or a reduced ability to focus on things at a close range, as they age. As people worldwide are living longer, a significant number of people develop presbyopia, which is an unavoidable result of your aging eye.


Theories about the cause of presbyopia are that the human eye will often lose flexibility around age 40, making it harder for eyes to focus in on something, particularly an object close by. Those with the condition usually manage with near visual impairment by holding a book far away or standing at a distance from the object they are looking at. Shifting from looking at distant things to closer ones is often strenuous for those with presbyopia. The tension could worsen the situation resulting in headaches, eye strain or fatigue.


The most popular solutions for correcting presbyopia are bifocal lenses or progressive addition lenses (PALs). Bifocal lenses have two points of focus, the upper portion is for seeing things from a distance and the lower portion of the lens is for seeing objects that are close by. Progressive lenses are similar to bifocals, however they offer a more gradual transition between the separate prescriptions and have no visible distinction between them. Users will more easily shift their focus, as they would having normal eyesight. Another option is reading glasses which are usually worn just when needed as opposed to all day.


Presbyopes can also use multifocal contacts or monovision lens correction (in which one eye is prescribed a distance vision and the other near vision) to improve the condition. It may take a couple of attempts to determine the optimal method and type of contacts due to the fact that different lenses can cause discomfort or blurriness.


Furthermore, there are options for other procedures including surgery available that you may want to discuss with your eye doctor. Many patients are most successful combining treatments for presbyopia. Additionally, because your eyesight will continue to deteriorate with age, you will probably be required to continually adjust the strength of your prescription. The positive news is, there continues to be a significant amount of research being done to identify more and perhaps more permanent solutions for patients with presbyopia.


If you are starting to see signs of presbyopia, call for an appointment with your Memphis, TN optometrist. Improved eyesight is worth it!