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Presbyopia and Aging

Contact your Whitehall, PA Optometrist to Learn More About Treatment Options

Many adults begin to experience presbyopia or a diminished ability to focus on things at a close range, as they age. With the growing international population of older adults, more and more individuals are developing the condition, which currently cannot be avoided.

Theories about the cause of presbyopia are that the eye will often harden by the age of forty, making it harder for eyes to focus on an object, especially something nearby. Sufferers usually cope with the reduced vision by holding the paper far away or standing back from the object they are looking at. Transitions from focusing on distant objects to nearer ones can often be tiring for people with presbyopia. This strain might worsen the situation by causing headaches, eye strain or fatigue.

The most common solutions for dealing with presbyopia are bifocal lenses or progressive addition lenses (PALs). A bifocal lens is separated into two points of focus, the upper portion is for distance vision and the other part of the lens is for seeing objects nearby. Progressive addition lenses work similarly to bifocal lenses, but the transitions between the two prescriptions are more gradual and have no clear distinction between them. Users will more easily shift focus, as they could if they had standard vision. An alternative would be reading glasses which are usually worn just when needed as opposed to all day.

If contact lenses are preferred over glasses, there are other options such as multifocal contacts. Multifocals don't work for everyone and can sometimes cause discomfort or vision difficulties, so it may take a while to decide if and in what combination they work for you.

There are also options for other procedures including surgery that could be considered that should be talked over with your optometrist. A lot of people find the most success by combining options for presbyopia. Also, since presbyopia will continue to get worse as you get older, it is likely that you will be required to keep adapting the strength of your prescription. The good news is, there is quite a bit of experimental treatment on the market currently to identify other and perhaps more permanent treatments for presbyopia.

If you are beginning to notice symptoms of presbyopia, book an appointment with your Whitehall, PA optometrist. Improved eyesight is worth it!