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Presbyopia and Getting Older

Visit your North Vancouver, BC Optometrist to Find Out About Treatment Options

Presbyopia is an age-related condition in which the ability to focus on things at a close distance becomes significantly diminished. As people around the world are living longer a larger number of individuals develop the condition, which currently cannot be avoided.

Theories about the cause of presbyopia are that the human eye will sometimes harden around age 40, making it more difficult for the eyes to focus in on an object, especially something close by. Sufferers often cope with near visual impairment by holding the paper away from their eyes or standing away from the object they are looking at. Transitions from focusing on distant things to nearer ones can often be straining for people with presbyopia. This tension could add to one's discomfort by causing headaches, eye strain or fatigue.

The most popular corrections for presbyopia are bifocal lenses or progressive addition lenses (PALs). A bifocal lens is divided into two points of focus, the upper portion is for distance vision and the other part of the lens is for seeing objects that are close by. Progressive lenses use the same principal as bifocal lenses, however they provide a more gradual gradient between the separate prescriptions and have no visible distinction between them. Wearers can more easily change their focus, as they might if they had uninhibited sight. A third option is reading glasses which, unlike bifocals or PALs which are worn continually, are used only when needed.

Presbyopes can also opt for multifocal contacts or monovision lens correction (when one eye is prescribed a correction for distance vision and the other near vision) to deal with their condition. Individuals adjust differently to multifocal lenses, so it may take some time to decide if and in what combination they work for you.

Furthermore, there are options for other procedures including surgery that could be considered that you may want to discuss with your optometrist. A significant number of people are most successful using a combination of treatments for presbyopia. Also, because your vision will continue to deteriorate as you get older, you will probably be required to continually adjust the strength of your correction. With the population growing older, there is quite a bit of experimental treatment on the market currently to discover more and perhaps more permanent treatments for presbyopia.

Seeing signs of presbyopia? Book an appointment with your North Vancouver, BC eye doctor. Improved eyesight can be yours!