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Changes: Managing Presbyopia

Frequently, middle-aged people notice that they're starting to have a hard time reading. Having the ability to see clearly things that are up close is an age related function of your vision which gets weaker as you become older. But why is this so? As time passes, the lens of your eye grows more and more inflexible, which makes it more difficult to focus on close objects. That, in a nutshell, is presbyopia. And, it's something that happens to all of us.

Those with undiagnosed presbyopia may hold reading material at arm's length in order to focus properly. Additionally, performing other tasks at close range, like needlepoint or handwriting, could also cause eyestrain. In order to treat presbyopia, there are several options, regardless of whether you currently wear glasses, contacts or nothing at all.

Reading glasses are an easy choice but are generally most useful for contact lens wearers or for those who don't need to wear glasses for correcting distance vision. These are readily available, but it is not recommended to purchase a pair until you have the advice of your eye care professional. Those inexpensive reading glasses may be helpful for quick periods of reading but they can result in fatigue with prolonged use.

If you already wear glasses for myopia, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which are very popular. PALs and multi-focals are eyeglasses that have more than one point of focus, and the lower part of the lens is where there is a prescription to help you focus at close range. If you use contacts, call us to discuss multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment approach known as monovision, where each eye is fitted with a different kind of lens; one that corrects distance vision and one to correct close vision.

Since your sight changes with age, you can anticipate adjusting your prescription periodically. But it's also important to understand your options before deciding what's best for your vision; presbyopia can affect you, even if you've had refractive surgery.

We recommend you speak to your eye care professional for a helpful view on the matter. Presbyopia is a reality of aging, but the decisions you make regarding how to handle it is always up to you.

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