Presbyopia happens to most people with age. As part of the normal aging process, the crystaline lens of the eye loses its flexibility, which results in an inabilty to focus on close objects.
Presbyopia develops slowly over many years and becomes apparant to most people in their early to mid forties. The earliest manifestations of presbyopia are often the inability to see fine print up close or in poor lighting. Difficulty reading the menu at a dimly lit restaurant is a common complaint. For most people the condition progresses over a 10-year period until the late forties or early fifties, at which point objects at arm's legth cannot be veiwed clearly without reading glasses.
Because presbyopia is part of the normal aging process, it cannot be prevented.
We have several options to correct presbyopia, including reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, progressives or contact lenses.
Other common vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can be complicated by the visual demands associated with presbyopia and specially designed, custom lenses might be recommended. Your optometrist will discuss your visual demands with you and perform other tests to determine the specific style of lenses that will allow you to see clearly.
Contact lenses and laser surgery can be used to provide “monovision” for patients with presbyopia. By doing this, the dominant eye is corrected for distance vision and the non-dominant eye is corrected for near vision. Monovision works well for some people, but not everyone. People who require good distance visual acuity with both eyes, such as pilots or police officers, may not be suitable candidates for monovision. The same is true of graphic designers and writers who require good near vision. Your optometrist can discuss monovision with you to help determine if this is the right option for you.