AGEING AND YOUR EYES: PRESBYOPIA
Presbyopia is the medical term for the gradual loss of your eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects, and this condition often becomes noticeable in the mid-40s and becomes even more pronounced until about the age of 65.
It’s natural to observe changes in your vision as you get older, and the following are some of the other common changes associated with ageing eyes.
- Loss of the ability to see things clearly up close
- Having difficulty distinguishing between colors such as blue and black.
- Taking longer to adjust to changing light levels.
These issues are frequently simple to resolve. The most common presbyopia treatments include prescription glasses and contact lenses, and these assist you in maintaining your freedom, lifestyle, and better quality of life as you age.
PRESBYOPIA – THE SYMPTOMS
Presbyopia develops gradually, and you may first begin to notice these signs and symptoms soon after you turn 40:
- A tendency to hold reading material farther away to make the letters clearer
- Blurred vision at normal reading distance
- Eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close-up work
You may notice these symptoms are worse if you are tired or are in an area with dim lighting.
See an eye doctor immediately if you experience any of the following sudden changes in your vision.
- Double vision
- Black spots, flashes of light, and halos
- Sudden loss of vision in one eye
- Hazy or blurred vision
A qualified eye doctor will be able to diagnose the disease and advise on the best treatment options for you.
PRESBYOPIA -THE CAUSES
Your eye relies on the cornea and the lens to concentrate the light reflected from objects in order to generate an image. The lens flexes more as the object gets closer.
Presbyopia is caused by the hardening of the lens of your eye as you age. As your lens loses flexibility, it will no longer be able to alter its shape to focus on close-up images. As a result, some images will appear blurry.
While age remains the greatest risk factor associated with presbyopia, having pre-existing vision conditions such as being farsighted, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and taking diuretics and antihistamines can increase the risk of being diagnosed with presbyopia.
Presbyopia is identified with a simple eye exam that includes a refraction assessment as well as an eye health exam.
A refraction examination determines if you are nearsighted or farsighted, astigmatic, or have presbyopia. To evaluate your distance and close-up vision, your doctor may use various devices and ask you to gaze through various lenses.
For the eye health checkup, your eye doctor will most likely place drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. This may cause your eyes to be more sensitive to light for a few hours after the exam. Dilation allows your doctor to see more clearly inside your eyes.
The purpose of treatment is to improve your overall vision and ability to focus. Treatment options for presbyopia include wearing corrective eyeglasses (spectacle lenses) or contact lenses, undergoing refractive surgery, or receiving lens implants.
Eyeglasses are a straightforward and safe technique to correct presbyopia-related vision issues.
People who do not wish to wear glasses commonly try contact lenses to address their presbyopia-related vision difficulties. If you have problems with your eyelids, tear ducts, or the surface of your eyes, like dry eyes, this choice may not be right for you.
Surgery for Refractive Error
Eye surgeons use monovision, a technique used to treat presbyopia using the LASIK treatment. Before proceeding with the operation, most patients try on glasses or contact lenses to see if they can handle having one eye corrected for distance vision and one eye adjusted for near vision.
The shape of your cornea changes as a result of refractive surgery. This procedure can be used to improve close-up vision in your non-dominant eye if you have presbyopia. Even after surgery, you may require the use of reading glasses for close-up work.
Discuss the potential side effects with your doctor, as this treatment is not reversible. Before committing to surgery, you might want to experiment with monovision contact lenses for a bit.
Cataract Surgery with Artificial Lens Implant
Cataract is a disease where the natural clear lens of the eye starts to turn cloudy and this condition can be treated by surgery. This involves removing the cataract and replacing it with a synthetic lens, which is referred to as an intraocular lens. Intraocular lenses can help to reduce presbyopia with the use of multifocal lenses.
Remember: As you get older, your risk of developing certain eye diseases and ailments increases, and some eye changes become more serious. Regular eye exams will help to keep your eyes as healthy as possible, allowing any abnormalities to be identified early.