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Changes: Managing Presbyopia

Ever wonder why people over 40 usually wear reading glasses? As time passes, the lens of your eye grows increasingly inflexible, which makes it harder to focus on handheld objects. This is called presbyopia. It's something that happens to everyone.

Often, to prevent having to strain their eyes, people with undiagnosed presbyopia tend to hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length in order to focus properly. Performing other close-range activities, like crafts or handwriting, can also lead to eyestrain. In order to treat presbyopia, it is helpful to know that there are several options available, which take your eyewear preferences into account.

Reading glasses are generally most efficient for those who wear contacts or for people who don't already wear glasses for issues with distance vision. You can buy these at lots of shops, but it's best not to buy them before you've seen the results of a thorough visual exam. Unfortunately, these sorts of reading glasses may help for short periods of time but they can eventually lead to eyestrain when worn for a long time. A superior alternative to drugstore reading glasses are custom made ones. These are able to correct astigmatism, comfortably accommodate prescriptions which are not the same in both eyes, and on top of that, the optic centers of every lens are made to meet the needs of whoever is wearing them. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.

If you already have glasses for distance vision, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people respond really well to. These are eyeglasses with more than one point of focus, and the lower part of the lens contains a prescription that helps you focus at close range. If you already wear contacts, it's worthwhile to speak to your optometrist to discuss multifocal contact lenses. Additionally, you may be able to benefit from a treatment technique called monovision, where one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Since your sight continues to change as you grow older, you can expect your prescription to increase periodically. But it's also important to look into your options before you decide the direction you want head in when it comes to your vision; presbyopia can affect you, even if you've had refractive surgery in the past.

We recommend you speak to your eye doctor for an unbiased opinion. Presbyopia is a reality of aging, but the decisions you make regarding it is in your hands.