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Presbyopia

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Presbyopia is an age-related eye problem that many people over the age of 40 to 50 years experience. This article will focus on the problems related to presbyopia and its related treatment plans that help correct vision problems.

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is an age-related focus dysfunction. It occurs when the eye lens and muscles lose their strength and flexibility that helps focusing on nearby objects. Presbyopia is very common and usually affects most people. Thus, middle-age is when most people require reading glasses or bifocals.

The symptoms of presbyopia are similar to farsightedness. However, they are two different conditions. The eye lens in presbyopia becomes rigid and is unable to flex. Thus, making it difficult to read, sew, use the phone, etc. at close range.

Symptoms

Presbyopia is a slow developing condition. It’s just like developing wrinkles. The first sign of presbyopia occurs between the age of 40 and 50. These symptoms include:

  • Problem reading fine print is the most common sign people experience.
  • Holding the phone or reading material at an arms length or adjusting the distance to read better
  • Blurred vision when viewing changes in distance
  • Frequent headaches, eye strain, eye fatigue
  • The symptoms become severe in dim light or when one is tired or under the influence of alcohol

If you experience any of the above symptoms, visit an eye care professional. Even those who wear eyeglasses or contact lens should seek professional advice.You might require a new prescription to solve the presbyopia problems.

Causes

Presbyopia is caused when the eye lens becomes rigid. It loses flexibility  and no longer can change its shape to focus on close images. Thus, this causes the inability of the eyes to adjust properly when focusing on nearby objects or reading material, leading to difficulty in vision.

Diagnosis

A basic eye examination will help diagnose presbyopia. The doctor may put some drops in your eyes to dilate the pupils. This helps in better evaluation within the eyes.

Treatment

The treatment for presbyopia aims at reducing the inability to focus on nearby objects. There are many ways one can correct presbyopia. These include:

  • Use of bifocal spectacles
  • Use of reading glasses
  • Use of magnifiers
  • Contact lenses that help one see at all distances effortlessly

There are many surgical procedures available too that helps those who don’t want to wear glasses or contacts. These surgical procedures include PresbyLASIK, Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK), photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and conductive keratoplasty. In some cases, one can try replacement of the natural lens with synthetic lens (intraocular lens implant).

Presbyopia is a natural process that every person undergoes. It is a part and parcel of aging. Visit an ophthalmologist and get your eyes checked regularly. As it is a continuous process, you may require a change in prescription lens with time.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: April 05, 2015