It may seem to occur suddenly, but the development of presbyopia takes place over a number of years and is unavoidable. Presbyopia is not a disease and is a natural part of the aging process of the eye. It becomes evident usually in the early to mid-40s.
Symptoms of Presbyopia
Some signs that may become evident to indicate the onset of presbyopia are the tendency to hold reading materials at arm’s length, blurred vision at normal reading distance and eye fatigue accompanied by headaches when doing close work.
Eyewear Treatment for Presbyopia
The most common correction for presbyopia is eyeglasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses. Reading glasses may be prescribed for those needing to wear them only while doing close work, and your optometrist may consider contact lenses also as an option.
Because presbyopia can complicate other vision conditions like short-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism, your optometrist will determine the specific lenses to allow you to see clearly and comfortably.
Surgery to Treat Presbyopia
Surgical methods are being researched to treat presbyopia and are currently available in many countries. One such method uses radio waves to create more curvature in the cornea for a higher “plus” prescription to improve near vision.
Experimental research has also focused on laser treatment of the eye’s hardened lens to increase flexibility and improve focus.
Some patients undergoing cataract surgery may be able to achieve clear vision at all distances with the recent introduction of presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses, and a procedure known as refractive lens exchange may enable the replacement of the eye’s natural lens with an artificial one using presbyopia-correcting lenses.
There are a number of other methods being researched at this time, but a comprehensive eye examination and talk with your optometrist will reveal which form of treatment is best suited for you.