Did you ever wonder why even those who never wore glasses have a hard time seeing things up close when they reach middle age? Because as you age, the lens of your eye grows less flexible, decreasing your ability to focus on close objects. That, in a nutshell, is presbyopia.
People with untreated presbyopia may hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm’s length to be able to focus properly. In addition to reading, engaging in other close-range tasks, such as sewing or writing, can also lead to headaches, eyestrain or fatigue in individuals who have developed this condition. In order to treat presbyopia, you have a few alternatives available, whether you currently wear glasses, contacts or nothing at all.
The thing with reading glasses is that they are only efficient for those who wear contacts or for people who don’t already wear glasses for issues with distance vision. These are readily available, but it’s advised not to purchase them until you have had a full eye exam. This is because reading glasses may be useful for brief periods of time but they can lead to eyestrain with prolonged use.
And if you’re already wearing eyeglasses for myopia, and don’t want to switch back and forth between different pairs of glasses, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people find really easy to wear. PALs and multi-focals are glasses with more than one point of focus, and the lower part of the lens contains a prescription to help you focus on things right in front of you. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist about multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment approach called monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.
Because your vision continues to change as time goes on, it’s fair to anticipate adjusting your prescription periodically. Presbyopia is seen in older individuals even after refractive surgery, so it is it’s worthwhile to take the time to find out about all the options before making decisions about your vision care.
Ask your eye care professional for a helpful perspective. Vision changes as you age and we want to keep you informed so you manage your vision in the way that’s best for you.