Presbyopia is a naturally occurring type of farsightedness brought on by age. Presbyopia affects near vision and is why most adults require reading glasses in their 40s and older.
Your eye’s natural lens is soft and flexible when you’re young, and the flexibility allows it to focus at different distances easily. That soft lens stiffens with age, making it challenging to view objects nearby, such as menus, books or your smartphone. You may find yourself holding the item farther and farther away to see it clearly without reading glasses.
Does Presbyopia Affect Everyone?
Presbyopia happens to everyone and typically begins to manifest in your early 40s, even if you have other refractive errors such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism.
People who have had LASIK or PRK will still develop presbyopia as they get older because the procedures deal with a different part of the eye. Typically, the cornea and lens work together to direct light onto the retina at the back of your eye for sharp images. When the cornea is misshapen or irregular, you develop myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism.
Laser eye surgeries including LASIK, EPI-LASIK and PRK reshape the cornea to correct your vision. Presbyopia is caused by the gradual hardening of the eye lens, so even with a perfectly shaped cornea, the stiff lens of your eye will not refract light correctly for near vision.
The initial symptoms of presbyopia could be subtle and worsen as you get older, including:
- Blurry near vision
- Eye fatigue
- Difficulty reading
- Holding reading material at arm’s length to see small print
You can’t prevent presbyopia from happening, but treatments are available to restore your near vision.
Presbyopia Treatments Options
Age-related loss of near vision is frustrating, especially for individuals who love to cook and need to read the fine print on recipes or enjoy reading at night. The typical treatment for presbyopia is reading glasses or bifocals. Technology has advanced to expand your options, so you don’t have to worry about the hassle of buying and losing reading glasses over and over.
Presbyopia Treatments Options
Clear lens exchange (CLE) removes the hardened natural lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL) that can also improve other refractive errors. CLE works the same as cataract surgery, except that the eye lens is clear when extracted, instead of opaque as is the case with a cataract. The procedure has the added benefit of preventing future development of the eye disease, because the artificial implant cannot form a cataract.
St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute offers PanOptix Trifocal lens, the only IOL that sharpens vision for near, intermediate and distant focal points. Our Ophthalmologists also offer IOLs that fit your lifestyle, such as accommodating, extended depth of focus and multifocal IOLs.
CLE can help you eliminate the need for reading glasses so you can enjoy everyday life without the burden of corrective eyewear.
Contact an Ophthalmologist About Presbyopia
Schedule your eye exam at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute today. Contact our Largo, Florida office to discuss your presbyopia symptoms and treatment options.