Presbyopia is a gradual loss of eyes’ ability to see near objects that occurs with ageing. It usually becomes noticeable around mid 40’s and continue to worsen till mid 60’s. Most people realise, that with increasing age reading books or newspapers gets difficult and keeping it at arm’s distance gives better clarity of vision and easier reading.

Normally, lens in the eye changes its shape so it can bend the light rays further and focus them on your retina at the back of your eye. However with age, lens become less flexible and hence focussing the light rays on retina gets difficult.

Symptoms

Presbyopia develops gradually. You may first notice these signs and symptoms after age 40:

  • A tendency to hold reading material at a distance for clear vision
  • Blurred vision at normal reading distance
  • Eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close-up work

These symptoms are worst in dim light or during stress or tiredness.

Risk factors

You are more prone for presbyopia –

  • With increasing age.
  • Other medical conditions- Like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, nerve issues
  • Refractive error like farsightedness
  • multiple sclerosis, which is an autoimmune disease that affects your spine and brain
  • eye trauma or disease
  • vascular insufficiency or poor blood flow
  • Certain drugs are associated with premature presbyopic symptoms, including antidepressants, antihistamines and diuretics.

Diagnosis

Presbyopia is diagnosed by a simple eye examination.

Your eye doctor likely will put drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. This may make your eyes more light sensitive for a few hours after the examination. Dilation enables your doctor to more easily view the inside of your eyes.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to compensate for the inability of your eyes to focus on nearby objects. Treatment options include wearing corrective eyeglasses (spectacle lenses) or contact lenses, undergoing refractive surgery, or getting lens implants for presbyopia.

Prescription reading glasses can be prescribed if you have no eye problems other than presbyopia. Also, bifocals  which have two different types of focus, with a noticeable line between them are prescribed. The upper portion is set for distance while the lower portion is set for reading or close work.

Progressive lenses are similar to bifocal lenses. However, they don’t have a visible line, and they offer a more gradual transition between the distant and close portions of the prescription.

There are surgical options too to treat presbyopia.

Your eyes will continue to gradually lose their ability to focus on close objects as you age. As a result, your prescription will have to be reviewed and changed according to the advice of your eye specialist.

If your presbyopia is undiagnosed or uncorrected, your vision will  deteriorate gradually. It will increasingly affect your lifestyle over time. You may experience a significant visual disability if a correction isn’t made and also risk of headaches and eyestrain increases. Hence timely diagnosis and corrective measures is recommended.

-Dr Prerna Gaur

References

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1219573-overview

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-health-presbyopia-eyes

 

Pic Credits: Internet

 

 

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