WHAT IS Presbyopia?
As a man or woman approaches the age of 40, their near vision typically begins to worsen. This vision impairment is known as presbyopia, and it reduces a person's ability to see things that are at short-range. This is a naturally occurring and extremely common aspect of the aging process and develops when the lenses in our eyes start to become hardened. Nearly everyone, even individuals who have enjoyed clear, precise eyesight their whole lives, might discover that they suddenly need objects at an arm's distance to see them properly. Many also experience headaches or eye strain from activities that previously never gave them any trouble. At our offices in Central PA, the board-certified team of optometrists and ophthalmologists offer patients a range of surgical and nonsurgical options for those who are experiencing age-associated blurred vision. If you think you may be developing presbyopia and have noticed a change in your sight, come in for a visit to The Eye Center of Central PA so we can help you try to regain your best sight.
Symptoms OF PRESBYOPIA
Patients who have started to be presbyopic will typically first realize that they aren't able to focus on objects that are close up as well as before. A familiar red flag of age-related vision impairment is noticing you need to hold objects at arm's distance in order to see them. Another sign is experiencing headaches or eye fatigue after certain activities, such as sewing or using a computer, that doesn't typically cause eye strain. Presbyopia usually starts to show up once a patient reaches 40 years of age. If left untreated, close-up vision loss can worsen and individuals may continue to have headaches and discomfort.
WHAT Causes VISION LOSS?
Although the majority of refractive visual impairments are the result of shortened or lengthened eye shape, age-related vision impairment is not. The proteins within the eye's lens are affected by age, especially after a man or woman turns 40 years old, leading the lens to stiffen and become less malleable. Age also impacts the muscle fibers surrounding the lens. They slowly become weaker and less responsive. Therefore, it becomes more difficult for the lens to make itself rounder or flatter, which it has to do in order to focus. Both of these changes within the eye can develop naturally with age. Therefore, presbyopia slowly becomes more noticeable over time.
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We will have to conduct a comprehensive eye exam to accurately diagnose presbyopia. We might also conduct a few vision tests to establish the severity of your condition and figure out the degree of correction necessary. Since presbyopia is a condition that is related to the eye’s lens, we may have to use special eye drops to enlarge your pupils. Dilating your pupils will allow our optometrists to thoroughly examine the inner parts of your eyes and determine how well your lenses are doing their jobs. By doing these tests, we will be able to establish the best treatment for your unique case of presbyopia.
Many patients manage their presbyopia using eyeglasses with specially made lenses. Out of these special lenses, bifocal and progressive lenses are the most common. Progressive lenses accomplish the same goal as multifocal lenses but look exactly like plain lenses since they don't have any lines. Progressive lenses can help patients see at multiple distances. Bifocal lenses have a visible line close to the bottom half that begins the area used for near vision. Both of these options can also be effective if you have other refractive errors in addition to presbyopia. Many adults with presbyopia prefer to just use reading glasses (often known as readers) and remove them when they aren't using them for up-close activities.
Multifocal contacts can also be worn to produce clear, accurate vision and are an effective choice for those who have both age-related vision impairment and nearsightedness. Also, there are a few surgical procedures that may be beneficial in reducing the effects of presbyopia. During your eye examination, we will assess your condition and go over your options in detail and help you decide if a surgical solution (like a refractive lens exchange) or eyeglasses could benefit your lifestyle.
FIGHT AGE-RELATED VISION LOSS
A worsening of close-up vision, specifically in patients over 40 years of age, is almost always caused by presbyopia. Presbyopia is a natural, age-related condition that occurs when the lens of the eye becomes less capable of fluid movement. This condition is extremely common and fully manageable with corrective lenses. At The Eye Center of Central PA, our highly skilled team of optometrists can help you do away with the challenges of poor close-up vision. Get in touch with us today at our Central PA practice and schedule your comprehensive eye exam.