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Home » What's New » Presbyopia and Aging

Presbyopia and Aging


Contact your Bloomington, IL Eye Doctor to Find Out About Treatment Options


Presbyopia is a visual impairment that comes with aging in which the ability to focus on close objects becomes significantly impaired. With the increasing international population reaching older ages, a larger number of individuals are developing presbyopia, which currently cannot be avoided.


The lenses of your eye bend to focus on objects at varying distances. Some theories are that as you get older, that curvature gets diminished because the natural lenses harden. This phenomenon is called presbyopia and is defined by difficulty focusing on things right in front of you. This usually can start to happen any time after someone turns forty. Those with the condition often cope with the reduced vision by holding a book far away or standing back from the object they want to focus on. Shifting from focusing on far off things to nearer ones is often tiring for people with presbyopia. This strain might add further discomfort resulting in eye strain, fatigues or headaches.


The most common solutions for dealing with presbyopia are bifocal lenses or progressive addition lenses (PALs). A bifocal lens is separated into two prescriptions for vision, the upper portion is for seeing things from far away and the lower portion of the lens is for looking at objects that are close by. Progressive addition lenses work similarly to bifocal lenses, however they provide a more gradual transition between the two prescriptions and have no visible line between them. Users will more easily change visual focus, as they might with standard vision. An alternative would be reading glasses which, unlike bifocals or PALs which are worn all day, are used only as needed.


Presbyopes can also use multifocal contacts or monovision lens correction (when one eye is prescribed a correction for distance vision and the other near vision) to deal with the vision impairment. Multifocal lenses don't work for everyone and can sometimes cause discomfort or vision difficulties, so it may take some time to determine if and in what combination they work for you.


Furthermore, there are surgical options available that should be discussed with your optometrist. Many people find the most success by combining treatments for presbyopia. Furthermore, because your eyesight will likely deteriorate as you get older, it is likely that you will be required to continually adjust your prescription. The good news is, there continues to be quite a bit of research being done to identify additional and perhaps more permanent solutions for the growing number of people dealing with presbyopia.


Seeing signs of presbyopia? Call for a check up with your Bloomington, IL optometrist. A return to normal vision is worth it!