Everything That You Need To Know About Presbyopia
What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is defined as the gradual loss of your eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects. It is an age-related condition and symptoms usually begin at around age 40. You may notice that it is harder to focus when reading, writing or working at the computer because you cannot see the close objects clearly.
Presbyopia should not be confused with other common eye conditions, such as astigmatisms, nearsightedness or farsightedness. 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.
Presbyopia Treatment: Eyewear
Treating presbyopia is very straightforward. 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 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.
In addition, there are also multifocal contact lenses available to treat presbyopia symptoms. Multifocal contact lenses are available in both gas permeable and soft lens material.
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. This will again enable 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 lenses.