Everything That You Need To Know About Presbyopia
Presbyopia defined as the gradual loss of your eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects. It has historically been an age-related condition with symptoms usually beginning at around age 40, however, more and more young people from even 25 years old, are needing progressive lenses to help with near tasks.
You may notice that it is harder to focus when reading, writing or working at the computer because you cannot see close objects clearly. The reason it is generally age related, is because as the crystaline lens in the eye ages, it produces more cells without disgarding old ones and eventually it becomes more rigid and not able to flex to see close-up work.
These conditions are related to the shape of the eyeball and are enhanced by genetic and environmental factors. However, near vision loss associated with presbyopia is caused by a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye.
Presbyopia is a very common eye condition. Worldwide, 1 in 7 people are considered presbyopic and experience near vision loss to some degree because of these age-related symptoms.
People who have this eye condition find they need to hold books, newspapers, menus and other reading materials at arm’s length in order for their eyes to focus properly
What causes presbyopia?
The lens of the eye is flexible and elastic and can change it’s length or shape relatively easy. The eye is surrounded by muscles that help shape the lens and helps adjust it to be able to register both close and distant objects accordingly.
Why do most people develop presbyopia as they age? Your lens and muscles fibers gradually lose some of their flexibility and elasticity with age.
The hardening of the lens affects how the muscles can shape and adjust the lens but also how the lens focuses light directly onto the retina. This natural condition therefore affects the ability to focus on close images becomes limited.
DID YOU KNOW?
The increase in people developing presbyopia in their 20s is due in part to the large amount of time many people now spend looking at screens.
Presbyopia treatment: eyewear
Treating presbyopia is very straightforward and there are a number of different presbyopia treatment options available. Prescription glasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses (PALs) are the most common options for presbyopia symptoms.
Bifocal lenses are glasses constructed with two points of focus. The centre and the main part of the spectacle lens contains a prescription for distance vision, while the bottom portion of the lens is made for enhancing near vision, for when you are reading a menu or doing some desk work.
Progressive lenses are similar to bifocal lenses but they offer a gradual transition between the two prescription lenses, so there is no visible line on your eyeglasses.
Reading glasses are also another option for presbyopia symptoms. You can have these glasses fitted with your unique presbyopia prescription so you can wear these glasses while you read or work. There are also non prescription reading glasses that you can typically try out and purchase at drug stores and other retail stores.
Presbyopia treatment: contact lenses
Presbyopia treatment: surgery
There are a few surgical options to treat presbyopia symptoms as well.
PresbyLASIK is a new presbyopia-correcting surgery that is now undergoing clinical trials in the U.S. This new procedure uses an excimer laser to create a multifocal ablation directly on the eye’s clear front surface. Presbyopia LASIK eye surgery helps regain vision at multiple distances.
LASIK can also be used to create monovision, where one eye is corrected for near vision and the other eye is stronger for distance vision.
Some other experimental treatments are being tried as well. One study involves injecting an elastic gel into the capsular bag, which is the structure in the eye that contains the natural lens. In theory, the gel would replace the natural lens and serve as a new, more elastic lens.
In addition, some people undergoing cataract surgery may be able to achieve clear vision at all distances if they choose to use presbyopia-correcting intraocular glasses.