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Taking a Closer Look at Presbyopia

As you reach your mid-to-late forties, you may start to notice that you have some trouble with reading. Seeing clearly things that are up close is a visual function that weakens as you age. But why is this so? With age, your eye's lens is likely to become more rigid, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. This is called presbyopia. And it's universal.

People with undiagnosed presbyopia may hold printed text at arm's length to be able to focus properly. In addition to reading, engaging in other tasks at close range, such as sewing or handwriting, can also result in eyestrain and discomfort in people with this condition. When it comes to rectifying the symptoms of presbyopia, there are several alternatives, which take your eyewear preferences into account.

The thing with reading glasses is that they are generally most efficient for those who wear contacts or for those who don't wear glasses for correcting distance vision. You can get these glasses at lots of stores, but you shouldn't purchase a pair until you have seen the results of a full eye examination. A lot of people don't know that reading glasses may be helpful for quick periods of reading but they can result in fatigue with extended use. A better alternative to regular reading glasses are custom made ones. They can also correct astigmatism, comfortably accommodate prescriptions which are not necessarily the same in both of your eyes, and in addition to all this, the optic centers of the lenses are adjusted to fit whoever is wearing them. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.

If you would rather just wear one pair of glasses at a time, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses (PALs). PALs and multi-focals are eyeglasses with more than one point of focus; the lower part has the prescription for seeing text and tasks at close distances. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist to discuss multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment approach which is called monovision, where you wear a contact lens to correct near sightedness in one eye and another to correct far sightedness in the other eye.

Plan to periodically adjust your prescriptions, because eyes slowly change as you get older, especially after middle age. However, it's also necessary to research your various choices before you decide the direction you want head in when it comes to your vision; you can be susceptible to presbyopia, even if you've had refractive surgery in the past.

Ask your eye doctor for an unbiased perspective. Sight goes through changes as you get older and we want to help you deal with that in the best way possible.