Unfortunately, having difficulty reading is an extremely common occurrence in middle aged people. But why is this so? With age, your eye's lens grows more and more inflexible, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. The clinical term for this is presbyopia. And, it's something that affects all of us.
Those with untreated presbyopia may hold reading material at arm's length in order to focus properly. Additionally, engaging in other close-range activities, for example, needlepoint or writing, may also cause headaches, eyestrain or fatigue. When handling presbyopia, you have a few options, regardless of whether you currently wear glasses, contacts or nothing at all.
One of the most common choices is reading glasses, but these are only efficient for those who wear contacts or for people who don't need glasses for correcting distance vision. Although these are readily available at pharmacies or drugstores, it is not recommended to buy them before you've seen the results of a proper eye examination. This is because reading glasses may be handy for quick periods of time but they can cause eyestrain when used for a long time.
If you already have glasses, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses (PALs). PALs and multi-focals are eyeglasses with more than one point of focus; the bottom section has the prescription for seeing at close range. If you wear contacts, meet with us to discuss multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment approach known as monovision, where each eye is fitted with a different kind of lens; one for distance vision and one to correct close vision.
You need to routinely check and possibly adjust the strength of your lenses, because your eyes and vision change over time. However, it's also necessary to understand your various choices 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 eye care professional for an informed view on the matter. Vision changes as you get older and we want to help you manage your changing eyesight in the way that's best for you.