Diagnosing and Treating Presbyopia
As people age, they find it more difficult to see up close. However, their distant vision remains just fine. Do you need to squint to read text due to recent changes in your eyesight? Are you holding your phone further away from your eyes or having trouble performing up-close tasks? If you are more than 40 years of age, you may be losing your near-focusing abilities.
What Is Presbyopia?
This is a medical term for old eyes in Greek. You need to remember that everyone loses clear up-close vision eventually. So, you need to understand that presbyopia is not an eye disease.
It is as normal as getting wrinkles as you age. It is part of the eye’s natural aging process. Fortunately, there are ways to make presbyopia less of a problem. These include contact lenses, eyeglasses, and vision correction surgery. These solutions will help you read your favorite novels again in no time.
Essentially, presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eye’s ability to change focus to see up-close objects. Usually, it starts to develop around age 40 and slowly worsens until the late 60s. It usually levels off after this. However, it does not usually affect people’s baseline distant vision.
Presbyopia Is Not Farsightedness
It is important to understand the difference between farsightedness and presbyopia. These two conditions are not the same. Farsightedness results from a misshaped eyeball, which prevents light rays from focusing correctly once they enter the eye. Presbyopia, on the other hand, occurs when your eye becomes less flexible.
Diagnosis for Presbyopia
A basic eye exam is all it takes to diagnose presbyopia. This exam usually includes an eye health test and refraction assessment. The refraction assessment will help your eye doctor determine whether you have astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, or presbyopia.
This may involve the use of various instruments. Your eye doctor will ask you to look through different lenses to test your close-up and distance vision. They may use eye drops to dilate your pupils for the exam. You will probably be sensitive to light for a few hours, but that will pass.
You might notice the following symptoms when you develop presbyopia:
The need for brighter lighting while reading.
Headaches from performing up-close activities.
The need to hold a text at arm’s length to read.
Blurred vision at normal reading distance.
Treatment for Presbyopia
The purpose of treatment is to compensate for your eye’s inability to focus on up-close objects. Presbyopia is not curable. However, you can choose from various options to improve your vision. Before you make your choice, you need to discuss your options with your eye doctor.
Depending on your lifestyle and overall health, your eye care provider may suggest various options. These include prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses, contact lenses, bifocals, progressive addition lenses, lens replacement, corneal inlays, or refractive surgery.
You cannot avoid presbyopia any more than you can prevent aging. However, you can take certain steps to slow down how fast it worsens and improve your eye health. Some of the things you should consider doing include:
Limit your intake of alcohol.
Use adequate lighting to reduce eyestrain.
Work out several times per week.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Undergo annual comprehensive eye exams.
Eat a balanced diet containing lots of green leafy veggies.
To learn more about presbyopia, visit Maple Eye and Laser Center at our office in White Plains or Manhattan, New York. You can call 914-948-5157 today to schedule an appointment.