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Focusing on Presbyopia

Ever wonder why older people prefer books with larger text? As time passes, your eye's lens is likely to become less flexible, making it more difficult to focus on near objects. That, in a nutshell, is presbyopia.

Those with untreated presbyopia may hold reading material at arm's length to be able to focus properly. In addition to reading, performing other tasks at close range, like sewing or handwriting, can also cause headaches, eyestrain or fatigue in those suffering from this condition. If you are ready to deal with presbyopia, there are several options, which take your eyewear preferences into account.

An oft-used solution is reading glasses, though these are generally most useful for contact lens wearers or for people who don't need glasses for distance vision. You can buy these at lots of stores, but you shouldn't get them until you have been examined by your optometrist. A lot of people don't know that reading glasses may be helpful for short blocks of reading time but they can result in fatigue when worn for long stretches of time. Custom made readers are generally a better solution. These can do a number of things, like rectify astigmatism, compensate for prescriptions that are different between the two eyes, and in addition to all this, the optic centers of every lens can be adjusted to fit the wearer. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.

If you would rather just use one pair of glasses at a time, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses (PALs). Essentially, these are glasses that have 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. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist to discuss multifocal contact lenses. Additionally, you might want to consider a treatment approach which is called monovision. Monovision is when each eye wears a different kind of lens; one addressing distance vision and one to correct close vision.

You have to periodically adjust the strength of your lenses, because eyes change over time. However, it's also important to examine all the options before you choose the direction you want head in when it comes to your vision; presbyopia can affect you, even if you've had refractive surgery in the past.

We recommend you speak to your eye care professional for an unbiased perspective. Sight does not stay the same as you reach middle age and we want to help you manage it in the way that's most helpful and beneficial to you.