The word “presbyopia” comes from the Greek and means “elder eye.” Presbyopia is the vision condition where as we age, the crystalline lens of the eye loses its flexibility making it difficult to focus up close. After age 40, people begin to experience blurred vision at near points such as when reading or working on a computer. This happens to everyone when they age, even those individuals who have never had a prior vision problem.
What causes Presbyopia?
Changes to the proteins in the lens of the eye cause the lens to harden gradually reducing flexibility. Age-related changes also take place in the muscle fibers surrounding the lens.
What are the symptoms?
Common signs of presbyopia include a tendency to hold reading materials at arms length, eye fatigue, and headaches.
How is Presbyopia diagnosed?
Presbyopia is detected during a comprehensive eye exam through a test called refraction. By using a phoropter, an instrument that determines the type and amount of presbyopia present, your eye doctor will determine your exact prescription. Because the human lens will continue to change, as you get older your presbyopic prescription will increase over time.
What are the treatment options?
There are many options for the treatment of presbyopia; reading glasses, eye glasses with progressive addition lenses, bifocals, trifocals, and contact lenses are the most common. Studies are currently underway for the surgical treatment of presbyopia as well.