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Focusing on Presbyopia

As much as we wish it weren't so, having trouble reading is a common occurrence in middle aged people. Seeing things that are up close is a visual function that weakens as you age. This is why: Because as you age, your eye's lens is likely to become more and more inflexible, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. We call this presbyopia.

People with untreated presbyopia may hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length in order to focus properly. Performing other tasks at close range, such as crafts or handwriting, can also lead to headaches, eyestrain or fatigue in those suffering from this condition. In order to treat presbyopia, you have a few options available, which take your eyewear preferences into account.

The thing with reading glasses is that they are generally most useful for contact lens wearers or for those who don't wear glasses for correcting distance vision. These are readily available, but it's advised not to purchase them before you've had a full eye examination. The reason for this is that reading glasses may be useful for short periods of reading but they can result in fatigue when used for a long time. A better alternative to drugstore reading glasses are custom made ones. These can also fix astigmatism, accommodate prescriptions which are not the same in both eyes, and furthermore, the optic centres of every lens can be customized to meet the needs of the person who wears them. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.

And if you're already wearing eyeglasses for distance vision, and would rather just wear one pair of glasses at a time, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which are very popular. These are glasses that have multiple points of focus, and the lower part of the lens contains a prescription that helps you focus on things right in front of you. If you already wear contacts, it's recommended to talk to your optometrist to discuss multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment technique known as monovision, where one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Plan to routinely check your prescriptions, because eyes slowly change over time. But it's also important to research your various choices before making choices about your vision; you can be susceptible to presbyopia, even if you've had refractive surgery.

Ask your eye care professional for a helpful view on the matter. We can give you the tools to help you deal with presbyopia and your changing eye sight in a way that is best for you.