Are you over 40 and starting to struggle with small print? Presbyopia- what is it and what are my options?

Posted on April 10, 2019 in Adults

Are you over 40 and starting to struggle with small print?

Presbyopia- what is it and what are my options?

If you are beginning to have trouble focusing at close distances you may be starting to develop presbyopia,a perfectly natural occurrence. Some people start noticing symptoms around 40, while others don’t experience any problems until their late 40s, early 50s and the process peaks at around 63-65 years of age. Eventually, it affects everyone, even long sighted and short sighted people.  It is the single most common reason people start to wear glasses ( or contact lenses) at this age.

Presbyopia occurs because the crystalline lens inside your eye starts to lose its flexibility, which lessens the lens ability to change shape in order to focus and the result is blurred near vision. So the closer an object is to the eye, the harder it is to focus on it. For example, a 12 year old can focus on something small at 8cm, however for a 48 year old to see the same small detail would have to be at approx 33cm in order to be able to see it clearly.

Common signs of presbyopia include:

  • holding paper, phone, menu further away than normal
  • Struggle to see smaller print
  • harder to read in dim light than before, needing more light
  • Headaches &/or eye strain after reading at close distance for prolonged periods of time 

In early presbyopia, a persons long distance up to about computer distance vision is clear but text any closer than about 50 cm is blurred or strained.

When presbyopia is more established, the near vision at less than 50cm is much more blurred than it was in the early stage and it is now also affecting mid distance vision so the range of blurred vision has increased out to approx 2 meters and so it starts to affect reading, computer work and even shopping when needing to see tickets or items on shelves.

So what can you do when you have presbyopia?

There is no magic cure for presbyopia, however your options range from glasses to contact lenses depending on your lifestyle.

Glasses are available for presbyopia in a variety of options depending on your vision requirements and lifestyle such as reading glasses, bifocals, multifocals or varifocals.

Contact lenses are also available to correct presbyopia in multifocal form or monovision, where one lens corrects distance vision and the other lens corrects near vision.  This, again, depends on requirements and lifestyle. 

Varifocal spectacle lenses were invented over 50 years ago now and work in perfect harmony with the way your eyes see, meaning your eyes focus perfectly with no effort so you can enjoy natural vision at all distances.  With a varifocal lens you can see near, far and everything in between, they give superior contrast definition, superior comfort & therefore no eye strain. 

All lenses are available in a variety of materials so we can produce personalized glasses for you that are thin, light, glare & reflection free, plus they are available as tinted sun lenses, polarized sun lenses & transitions lenses.

So what’s stopping you? Get your eyes checked today if you think you are noticing the signs of presbyopia, phone 045-484643 for an appointment or email us on bookings@kilcullenoptician.com

And if you have a prescription for near work glasses from another eyecare professional such as an ophthalmologist, or optometrist/optician we are happy to advise you about your individual options based on your needs and lifestyle and we are here to help you chose a great pair of glasses that you will see comfortably but also feel fantastic when wearing them. 

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