Presbyopia is a condition that is usually recognized when close work appears blurry but as the distance increases the vision will gradually get sharper. Eye fatigue, eyestrain or headaches are common symptoms patients might experience when doing close work, such as sewing, knitting, reading or computer work.
When individuals do near-work activity, eyes converge, constrict and accommodate. Accommodation is the ability of the ciliary body to contract and cause the lens to change shape by getting thicker. The elasticity of the ciliary body and lens are very efficient at a young age but as we age, the lens becomes stiffer and the ability to accommodate is diminished. This not only makes focusing on near objects more difficult, but it increases the adjustment time for focusing from distant objects to near ones.
The flexibility of the lens begins to decrease as a patient gets older and their ability to accommodate diminishes. The age when presbyopia usually begins to interfere with near vision is in the early 40s. Presbyopia affects everyone and there is no way to prevent it, just to correct it with multi-focal lenses.
Typically, optometrists will prescribe bifocal spectacles or reading glasses to help the eye compensate for the loss of accommodation, which is needed for near work. Soft multifocal contact lens is another option that has been increasing in popularity as well as its effectiveness. Laser surgery has been another alternative method used to treat presbyopia but the duration of treatment ranges between individuals. Ophthalmologists are now implanting multifocal IOL to treat presbyopia synergistically with the cataract extraction.
Presbyopia is a condition that gradually changes with age. As years go on the loss of accommodation increases and the need to update the prescription is required in order to have clear vision.