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Presbyopia: Managing the Inevitable

Unfortunately, having trouble reading is a common occurrence in middle age. Having the ability to see things that are up close is a visual function that weakens as you age. Why does this happen? As time passes, the lens of your eye is likely to become less flexible, decreasing your ability to focus on close objects. We call this presbyopia. And it's universal.

People with untreated presbyopia may hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length in order to focus properly. Performing other close-range activities, such as embroidery or handwriting, may also lead to eyestrain and discomfort in those suffering from this condition. When it comes to handling presbyopia, it's helpful to know that there are a number of solutions, whether you are a glasses or contact lens wearer.

Reading glasses are an easy choice but are mostly efficient for contact lens wearers or for people who don't already need glasses for problems with distance vision. These are readily available, but it's advised not to purchase a pair until you have been examined by an eye care professional. This is because reading glasses may be helpful for short periods of time but they can eventually result in eyestrain when people wear them for a long time.

If you already have glasses for near sightedness, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which are very popular. PALs and multi-focals are eyeglasses with multiple points of focus, and the lower part of the lens contains a prescription to give you the ability to focus at close range. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist to discuss multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment technique which is called monovision, where one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Since your sight changes as time goes on, you can expect your prescription to increase periodically. However, it's also important to research your options before deciding what's best for your vision; presbyopia can affect you, even if you've had refractive surgery in the past.

Have to chat with your optometrist for an unbiased perspective. We can help you deal with presbyopia and your changing vision in a way that is best for you.

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