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What is Presbyopia

05.09.2017
Presbyopia or farsightedness is the normal loss of near focusing ability that occurs with age. It's a pretty universal experience and by age 40 most people have aging changes in their vision when they start having trouble seeing small print clearly...

Presbyopia or farsightedness is the normal loss of near focusing ability that occurs with age. It's a pretty universal experience and by age 40 most people have aging changes in their vision when they start having trouble seeing small print clearly — including text messages on their phone. This is called presbyopia and the good news is that it's correctable with reading glasses.

You can't escape presbyopia, even if you've never had a vision problem before. Even people who are nearsighted or suffer from myopia will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.

The eye's lens stiffens with age, so it is less able to focus when you view something up close but how?

Nearsightedthe refractive condition which most of us end up having if we live long enough!

This is about the lens (Crystalline lens) inside the eyes. The Crystalline lens has a biconcave shape which is a plus lens (in very simple terms) when we are looking at the distance the lens is relaxed, it's flat as it can be, but as our object moves from distance to near and it comes closer to us, this Crystalline lens changes shape with help of ciliary muscles, this process called accommodation, allow the lens to change shape and become more plus that allows us to see the objects as it comes close, clearly.

Kind of important note:

Our brain is fascinating while we assumed that through the magnifying glasses objects should only become larger, but it doesn't! It just stays clear as it comes closer which is kind of cool, isn’t it?

So when the objects come closer to our eyes the ciliary muscles release the pressure of the zonules and it lets the lens increase in size and this is how we see objects comes in clear.

However, what is happening to this poor Crystalline inside of our body?

A couple of things happening in very simple terms:
  1. Cells die off: our cells are died off regularly as our skin cells. Mostly these dead cells have a place to go, yet the Crystalline lens is a capsule, it’s in our body and it’s close. the cells have died off inside the Crystalline lens over the time as we age, they have no place to go, and they trapped in there so that they start to take up the space giving rise to lens stiffness and can’t change shape anymore. 
  2. The ciliary muscles and zonules: As we age the muscles of our body can’t move as it used to, the same for the zonules and ciliary muscles. They get old and tired and instead of reacting in milliseconds they react in seconds and can’t make that nice changes rapidly which limiting it to expand as it used to. 
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So over time due to dead cells and slow reaction inside Crystalline lens become cloudy and lights can’t pass through the cloudy lens and hit the retina nice and clean as well as sharp so they end up to a blurry, not clear vision of close objects, especially the text.

Researchers estimate that nearly 2 billion people worldwide have presbyopia.

Though presbyopia is a natural change in our eyes as we age, it often is a significant and emotional event because it's a sign of aging that's impossible to ignore and difficult to hide.

In parts of the world where there is no access to vision care, presbyopia is much more than an inconvenience — it's a leading cause of vision impairment that reduces people's quality of life and productivity. 

Readers definitely have a slice of a beauty market. overtime we will need stronger and stronger glasses as presbyopia become more advanced! that's okay the glasses are still cool!

in case you wondering, you will know when you need the first pair Presbyopia symptoms:

When you become presbyopic, you either have to hold your smartphone and other objects and reading material (books, magazines, menus, labels, etc.) farther from your eyes to see them more clearly.

Unfortunately, when you move things farther from your eyes they get smaller in size, so this is only a temporary and partially successful solution to nearsightedness. in words of one syllable, when the arms stretched out and you can't still read it anymore!

If you can still see close objects pretty well, presbyopia can cause headaches, eye strain, and visual fatigue that makes reading and other near vision tasks less comfortable and more tiring.

What causes presbyopia?

Presbyopia is an age-related process. It is a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye.

These age-related changes occur within the proteins in the lens, making the lens harder and less elastic over time. Age-related changes also take place in the muscle fibers surrounding the lens. With less elasticity, it gets difficult for the eyes to focus on close objects.

Presbyopia treatments

Presbyopia can be treated with eyeglasses (including reading glasses ), contact lenses, and vision surgery.

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses with progressive lenses are the most popular solution for presbyopia for most people over age 40 who already use regular glasses for myopia or hyperopia. These line-free multifocal lenses restore clear near vision and provide excellent vision at all distances.

Another presbyopia treatment option is eyeglasses with bifocal lenses, but bifocals provide a more limited range of vision for many people with presbyopia.

It's also common for people with presbyopia to notice they are becoming more sensitive to light and glare due to aging changes in their eyes. Photochromic lenses, which darken automatically in sunlight, are a good choice for this reason.

 Reading glasses are another choice. Unlike bifocals and progressive lenses, which most people wear all day, reading glasses are worn only when needed to see close objects and small print more clearly. There are two different types of reading glasses:

Prescription Reading glasses and OTC (over the counter):

When it comes to reading glasses, most people make a trip to their local drugstore to pick up a pair of readers. While that solution is quick and easy, your over-the-counter (OTC) ‘cheaters’ may not be exactly what your eyes need. So, what are the real benefits of ordering prescription reading glasses versus wearing OTC readers?

Prescription Power

Reading glasses from a drugstore come in different strengths, also called powers, where both lenses are the same power. You will generally find them in ranges from +0.75 to +4.00. If you have the same power demand in each eye, OTC readers can be a convenient fix. Yet many people require different strengths in each eye. It’s always best to have your eyes examined by a doctor to get the correct power for each eye. Your prescription may also call for an astigmatism correction, which OTC readers don’t address. However, For the vast majority of people, buying over-the-counter (OTC) readers will not be a problem as long as they exactly match the power of the prescription. For instance, if your doctor recommends +2.00 in each eye, then purchasing OTC readers of the same power should generally suffice.

The quality of the lenses and materials of mass-produced readers are usually inferior to those of privately manufactured glasses. However, many people accept this compromise because of their low cost.

With that said, there are exceptions. 

If you wear contact lenses, your eye doctor can prescribe reading glasses that you wear while your contact lenses are in. You may purchase reading glasses at an eyewear online store, or you can get higher-quality versions prescribed by your eye doctor.

Regardless of which type of eyeglasses you choose to correct presbyopia, definitely consider lenses that include anti-reflective coating. Anti-reflective coating eliminates reflections that can be distracting and cause eye strain. It also helps reduce glare and increase visual clarity for night driving.

Contact lenses

People with presbyopia also can opt for multifocal contact lenses, available in gas permeable or soft lens materials.

Another type of contact lens correction for presbyopia is monovision, in which one eye wears a distance prescription, and the other wears a prescription for near vision. The brain learns to favor one eye or the other for different tasks.

While some people are delighted with this solution, others complain of reduced visual acuity and some loss of depth perception. Because the human eye change as you grow older, your presbyopia glasses or contacts prescription will need to be increased over time as well. You can expect your eye doctor to prescribe a stronger correction for near work as you need it.

Presbyopia surgery

If you don't want to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses for presbyopia, a number of surgical options to treat presbyopia are available as well.

One presbyopia correction procedure that's gaining popularity is the implantation of a corneal inlay.

Typically implanted in the cornea of the eye that's not your dominant eye, a corneal inlay increases the depth of focus of the treated eye and reduces the need for reading glasses without significantly affecting the quality of your distance vision.

The first step to see if you are a good candidate for presbyopia surgery is to have a comprehensive eye exam and a consultation with a refractive surgeon who specializes in the surgical correction of presbyopia.

Presbyopia is a part of growing older

Presbyopia is a normal part of the aging process, and we’re all going to have to deal with it sometime after age 40. Whichever option you choose – eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery – you’ll be able to easily read messages on your phone or a book to your granddaughter without any trouble.

If you are beginning to notice signs and symptoms of presbyopia, see an eye doctor near you for an eye exam and consultation regarding the best presbyopia treatment options for you.



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