Understanding Presbyopia – Your Vision after age 40
Your vision may start to change when you near your 40th birthday. You may notice that your near vision is becoming blurry. Things that were once easy to read now may take a while to come into focus. This change is the normal aging of the eye. The medical term is Presbyopia, which translates from the Latin, meaning “old eye.”
Presbyopia happens to everyone, so you are not alone! You may find yourself needing glasses for the first time in your life. This change happens gradually and you may not notice it the day you turn 40, but it will happen eventually.
Why can’t I focus? As we age, the lens of our eye becomes less flexible, which makes it more difficult to change focus. At the same time, the muscles that control the lens become less flexible as well. These two issues combine, and the eye isn’t able to focus clearly on items that are close to the eye.
My arms aren’t long enough! You may be able to avoid reading glasses by holding items further away from your eyes. Books, menus and ingredient labels can be held at an arm’s length for better clarity. Near-sighted people may see up close more clearly just by taking their glasses off to read. However, straining to focus can cause headaches and eye fatigue.
Let’s talk about your options: It’s a good time to come in for a complete eye exam, so our doctors can recommend a solution that works best for you and your vision needs.
If you wear glasses for distance vision:
Bifocal Lenses: The top of these lenses are for distance, the bottom is for near vision.
Progressive Lenses: These glasses have a gradual transition from distance to near vision.
You may be comfortable taking off your distance vision glasses to see more clearly up close.
If you wear contacts:
Bifocal Contact Lenses: These lenses have both near and far correction.
Monovision: One eye will be corrected for distance; the other eye will be corrected for near vision. This option may take a little getting used to. Some patients have difficulty with depth perception with monovision contacts, but many patients make the adjustment with no problems at all.
Magnifying Reading Glasses: You can wear these magnifying glasses over your contacts when you are looking at items up close.
If you don’t wear glasses:
Magnifying Reading Glasses: These glasses, worn when needed, will help bring near items into focus.
If Presybyopia is part of aging, will my near vision get worse? Unfortunately, yes. You will continue to need a higher prescription for near vision as you get older. Your eye doctor will be able to test your eyes to find the right prescription for you.
Don’t suffer from blurry vision! We can help you see well both near and far at any age!