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Presbyopia: Managing the Inevitable

Did you ever wonder why many people in their 40's and 50's need to wear reading glasses? With age, your eye's lens becomes increasingly inflexible, making it less able to focus on close objects. That, in a nutshell, is presbyopia. And, it's something that happens to everyone.

People with untreated presbyopia may hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length in order to focus properly. In addition to reading, carrying out other close-range tasks, like needlepoint or handwriting, may also cause eyestrain and discomfort. In order to treat presbyopia, there are several solutions available, which take your eyewear preferences into account.

One of the most common preferences is reading glasses, but these are generally most efficient for contact lens wearers or for those who don't need to wear glasses for distance vision. These are readily available, but it is not recommended to get them until you have the advice of an eye care professional. Too often simple reading glasses may be handy for short periods of time but they can lead to eyestrain with extended use. Actually, custom-made readers are a far more effective solution. These can do a number of things, like correct astigmatism, compensate for prescriptions which are not the same in both eyes, and on top of that, the optic centers of every lens are customized to suit the person who wears them. The reading distance is another detail that can be designed to accommodate your exact needs.

If you already have glasses for near sightedness, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people find very beneficial. PALs and multi-focals are eyeglasses that have multiple points of focus; the bottom portion helps you see nearby objects. If you already wear contacts, it's worthwhile to speak to your optometrist to find out about multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment technique known as monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Because your sight changes as you grow older, you should expect your prescription to increase periodically. However, it's also crucial to examine your various choices 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 optometrist for a helpful perspective. Vision goes through changes as you get older and we want to help you deal with it in the way that's best for you.