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Home » What's New » Middle Age and Presbyopia

Ever wonder why it gets harder to read small print as you get older? With age, your eye's lens becomes more and more inflexible, which makes it less able to focus on handheld objects. This is called presbyopia.

In an effort to avoid having to strain their eyes, people with untreated presbyopia tend to hold reading material at arm's length to be able to focus properly. Performing other close-range activities, for example, sewing or handwriting, can also cause eyestrain and discomfort in those suffering from this condition. If you are ready to do something about presbyopia, you have a few solutions, whether you wear eyeglasses and contact lenses.

Reading glasses are only efficient for those who wear contacts or for people who don't need to wear glasses for distance vision. Even though reading glasses are readily available at pharmacies or drugstores, it's best not to get them before you've seen the results of a full eye exam. Unfortunately, these sorts of reading glasses may help for quick periods of reading but they can eventually lead to eyestrain with prolonged use. Not surprisingly, custom-made reading glasses are a far better solution. These are able to fix astigmatism, comfortably accommodate prescriptions that are different between the two eyes, and, 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.

And if you already have glasses, but would rather just use one pair of glasses at a time, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people find really easy to wear. These are eyeglasses with separate points of focus, and the lower part of the lens contains a prescription that helps you focus at close range. If you use contacts, speak to us about multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment approach called monovision. Monovision is when each eye is fitted with a different kind of lens; one that corrects distance vision and one for close vision.

You need to periodically adjust the strength of your lenses, because eyes slowly change with age. However, it's also crucial to examine your options before making choices about your vision; presbyopia can affect you, even if you've had refractive surgery in the past.

We recommend you speak to your eye care professional for a helpful perspective. Sight does not stay the same as you reach middle age and we want to keep you informed so you deal with that in the best way possible.