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Understanding Presbyopia

As we enter middle age, the unfortunate signs of getting older start to become more obvious. In addition to the occasional grey hair and the odd wrinkle here and there, our eyesight may start to deteriorate too, meaning blurry vision and lack of focus.

This all too common problem is known as presbyopia and according to the National Eye Institute anyone over the age of 35 is at risk. It is important to understand the facts about presbyopia and know what steps can be taken to improve the condition’s affects. 

The problem

Presbyopia occurs when the crystalline lens of the eye loses its flexibility and makes it difficult to focus on certain objects.

Presbyopia is a natural part of the eye's ageing process, not a disease. Although it may appear to occur suddenly, the condition actually takes place over a number of years.

The tell-tale signs of presbyopia include: blurred vision while reading something at a normal distance, tired eyes while working on something close by and the tendency to hold a book at arm’s length.

The solution

If you feel as though you may be suffering from presbyopia, it is important to have a comprehensive optometric examination.

It is not uncommon to suffer from another type of refractive error at the same time, such as near-sightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. In this case, routine procedures such as Intralase Lasik Laser eye surgery can provide long-term benefits and solutions.

The typical way to deal with presbyopia is through a prescription of reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals or content lenses. As this particular condition usually only concerns close work like reading, you often won't need to wear them all the time. However, periodic changes in your eyewear may be required as the flexibility of the lens and weakening of the muscles could change over time.

Alternative treatment

Laser eye surgery specialists, Optimax, also offer treatment known as Monovision, which looks to restore youthful vision and improve the effects of presbyopia. While this treatment is not for everyone, it could be a workable solution for those who do not want to wear glasses or depend on contact lenses.

Monovision laser eye surgery works by identifying your weaker, non-dominant eye and is then made slightly short-sighted, for better close up vision. Your stronger, more dominant eye will remain untreated, unless this is required for a different refractor problem. The result of this procedure means that one eye sees well close up, while the other focuses in the distance.

While Monovision is a compromise that can take a lot of getting used to, the benefits are obvious for a patient who is willing to relax and let their brain adjust to the change. Before any decision is made about solving presbyopia, a thorough consultation with an eye specialist is necessary.