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Presbyopia and Getting Older

Contact your Albertville, AL Optometrist to Learn More About Treatment Options

Presbyopia is a visual impairment related to age in which the ability to focus on close objects becomes significantly reduced. With the growing international population of older adults, more and more individuals are developing presbyopia, which is an unavoidable result of your aging eye.

Theories about the cause of presbyopia are that the eye will begin to harden around the age of forty, making it more difficult for the eyes to focus in on an object, especially something close by. Sufferers usually deal with the situation by holding a newspaper far away or standing away from the object they are looking at. Shifting from looking at far away things to closer ones is often strenuous for those with presbyopia. This stress could worsen the situation by causing eye strain, fatigues or headaches.

Most of the time bifocal lenses or progressive addition lenses (PALs) are used to deal with this issue. Bifocal lenses have two points of focus, the upper portion is for viewing things at a distance and a second, lower portion for seeing things nearby. PALs are similar to bifocals, however the transitions between the two prescriptions are more gradual and have no visible distinction between them. Wearers can more easily shift focus, as they would with normal eyesight. An alternative would be reading glasses which, unlike bifocals or PALs which are worn all day, are used only when needed.

Presbyopes can also use multifocal contact lenses or monovision lens correction (when one eye is prescribed a distance vision and the other near vision) to correct their condition. Individuals respond in different ways to multifocal lenses, so it may take some time to decide if and in what combination they work for you.

There are also surgical options that could be considered that you may want to discuss with your optometrist. A significant number of people find the most success by combining treatments for presbyopia. Additionally, since presbyopia will likely deteriorate as you get older, it is likely that you will need to keep adjusting your correction. The good news is, there is a significant amount of research being done to identify additional effective treatments for presbyopia.

If you are beginning to see symptoms of presbyopia, schedule a check up with your Albertville, AL optometrist. Improved eyesight can be yours!