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Presbyopia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Overview 

Presbyopia is an eye condition. In presbyopia, your eyes gradually lose their ability to focus on objects which are nearby. It usually occurs due to the aging process. You may notice presbyopia after your 40s till around 65 years. For example, your inability to read without holding the item at arm’s length will make you aware of your presbyopia. An eye exam can confirm your presbyopia. Glasses, contact lenses, or surgery are among the treatment alternatives for presbyopia. 

What is Presbyopia?

Usually, the light that enters your eye passes through your cornea. Thereafter it passes to your pupil. After the pupil, the iris, the colored ring in your eye, controls the light entering your eye. The light then passes through your lens. When healthy, your lens can change its shape. It helps to focus the light on your retina, situated at the back of your eye. However, with age, your lens tends to lose its flexibility. Due to this, it affects the ability of the light to bend and focus on your retina. In presbyopia, your eye loses its ability to focus on objects that are nearby. 

What are the Symptoms of Presbyopia?

The main symptoms of presbyopia are after the age of 40, which are as follows.

  • Difficulty in reading small print
  • Facing fatigue when doing work that requires close distance from your eyes
  • Blurred vision when reading from an average distance
  • Holding material further away from you to read better
  • Requiring brighter light when reading from a close distance
  • Difficulty in focusing and seeing objects which are at a near distance from you
  • Squinting

What are the Causes of Presbyopia?

The leading cause of presbyopia is the inflexibility of your lens, which occurs due to age. Due to the aging process, your lens continues to add multiple layers of cells as it grows. It results in the thickening of the lens, making it less flexible, thus blurring your vision. 

When should you consult a doctor?

You should consult a doctor if your close-up vision is blurred, which obstructs you from doing certain activities that require close distance from your eyes. You have to seek urgent medical care if you have sudden vision loss with or without eye pain, sudden blurred vision, flashes of light, or double vision. Your doctor may identify the cause of your vision impairment and advise treatment accordingly. You can

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment

What is the Treatment for Presbyopia?

Though presbyopia cannot get cured, treatment exists to help you focus on nearby objects better. Following are the treatment options for presbyopia.

  • Eyeglasses- Various eyeglasses like prescription glasses for reading, bifocals, trifocals, progressive multifocal and office progressives (mainly for computer work) can be prescribed. Progressive multifocal lens does not have visible horizontal lines. However it has multiple powers for distance, middle distance as well as close-up corrections. Different areas of lens have different focusing strengths. 
  • Contact lenses- Instead of eyeglasses, some people may prefer contact lenses. Various contact lenses exist, such as bifocal contact lenses (for seeing at a distance and close-up), monovision contact lenses (if only one eye is affected), and modified monovision contact lenses (multifocal contact lens in one eye and a contact lens for distance in the other eye).
  • Refractive surgery- Surgery may be  done if you do not wish to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. Surgeries like conductive keratoplasty, Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), Laser-assisted sub epithelial keratectomy (LASEK), and Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) help reshape your cornea and improve focus. 
  • Lens implants- your ophthalmologist will replace your lens with a synthetic one.
  • Corneal inlays- this is a new procedure in which the inlay (small plastic ring) is inserted in one eye to reduce the blurring effect.

Conclusion

Presbyopia is a vision problem that usually occurs with age. It can either be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or a surgery. Though presbyopia cannot get prevented, consuming eye-healthy foods can help prevent the premature onset of presbyopia.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the Risk Factors for Presbyopia?

Age above 40 years, certain medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular (heart)diseases, certain medications like antidepressants and diuretics, or history of head trauma are some risk factors that increase your chances of an early onset of presbyopia.

What are the Complications of Presbyopia?

If your presbyopia is uncorrected or undiagnosed, you are likely to lose your vision gradually. It may affect your lifestyle increasingly over time. You might also experience a significant visual disability if a correction is not made.

How can you Prevent Presbyopia?

Though you cannot prevent presbyopia, you can take steps to improve your eye health. Not reading in inadequate lighting, having annual eye examinations, consuming a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, exercising regularly, staying hydrated by drinking adequate water, stopping smoking, and wearing sunglasses are a few ways to prevent the early onset of presbyopia.

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The content is medically reviewed and verified by experienced and skilled ENT (Ear Nose Throat) Specialists for clinical accuracy.
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