At age 40 or above, you are likely to experience presbyopia, the condition that makes a trip to the drug store’s reading-glass carousel a middle-age rite of passage for many.
Presbyopia becomes obvious when a person begins holding books and magazines farther away to allow the eyes to focus on fine print at greater distances. Eventually everyone runs out of arm length, and must accept that vision correction is necessary for focusing on close distances. Below, the experienced vision care team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons reviews treatment options for presbyopia, including traditional lenses, LASIK and advanced IOLs.
Rigid With Age
As we grow older, the lenses in our eyes become thicker and less flexible, and it becomes harder for the optical ciliary muscle to flex the lenses sufficiently to focus on near objects. In addition to needing larger print, greater distances and brighter light to read, you may also experience headache and eye strain. Although the effect is the same as farsightedness, it is actually a separate condition. One main difference is that farsightedness usually shows up much earlier in life.
Solutions to presbyopia trace as far back as Benjamin Franklin, whose enlightened quest to free himself from myopia and presbyopia led to the invention of bifocals. Eyeglasses remain a popular choice for mild presbyopia, even as the options have expanded beyond that of a pair of “Ben Franklins.” Progressive lenses blur the line between lenses of different strength and contour, and trifocals allow clear vision at a range of distances.
Contact lenses have been designed with these same principles in mind. Thanks to tremendous technological advances in recent years, multifocal contacts can now provide seamless, panoramic vision for patients with almost any type of prescription. In addition, some people choose the “monovision” option. Using this technique, a patient wears one contact lens that corrects for near vision; and, if correction for distance is necessary, a lens for nearsightedness in the other eye.
Surgical solutions include LASIK and refractive lens exchange (RLE), which replaces your eyes’ natural lenses with permanent, multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs). IOLs are most commonly used after cataract surgery.
If you would like to learn more about effective solutions for presbyopia, we invite you to schedule a personal consultation in our Reading office with one of the skilled ophthalmologists at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons today.