Presbyopia literally means 'old eye'. Presbyopia is not a disease, it is a normal condition and can be corrected very simply with glasses or contact lenses. It is caused by the eye's inability to focus at short distances. People with the condition often have trouble reading the menu in a restaurant, threading a needle and reading the fine print in a telephone book.
Presbyopia progresses gradually, typically becoming noticeable in our early forties. It is also more apparent during times of bad lighting, stress, fatigue or illness. Close tasks such as reading and sewing become difficult and you may also have difficulty concentrating when reading. Periods of close work can results in eyestrain, headaches or tiredness.
When we read, the muscles of the eye literally reshape the lens to adjust the focal distance. Throughout our lives the aging process affects the lens of the eye, making it less flexible and increasingly difficult to adjust. When the lens can no longer adjust enough to bend the light rays sufficiently, blurred near vision results.
From 65 years onwards, there are unlikely to be any further significant changes to your vision.
As your ability to focus declines you will need to have your eyes checked and your lens prescription changed every few years. A regular eye examination will also detect eye diseases, the incidence of which increases with age.
Your ProVision optometrist will use their experience to identify the most appropriate lens to ensure natural vision together with comfort and performance. Multifocal (or progressive) lens correction in glasses or contact lenses is often the most desirable, as it provides natural vision at short and long distances and everything in between.
Contact your ProVision optometrist for a regular eye test if you're experiencing symptoms of presbyopia or for more information.
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