As you grow older, it might seem like your body is starting to experience issues long before it should. One thing that you might encounter is age-related farsightedness, which is also known as presbyopia. All of a sudden, it might become harder to read the small words on a package or your favorite book in a dim-lit room, and when this happens, you may have many questions that you will need accurate answers to. Some of these most common questions relating to presbyopia include:
- What is age-related farsightedness?
- What is presbyopia?
- Does everyone eventually get presbyopia?
- What are the presbyopia treatments?
- What are the presbyopia symptoms you need to know?
We have all the answers you need to these burning questions and more, here.
What Is Presbyopia?
The most important question you might have is, “What is presbyopia?” Presbyopia is farsightedness that occurs in middle or old aged people, when the elasticity in the lens of the eyes begins to weaken. You’ll probably first notice presbyopia symptoms sometime in your 40s, and the condition will continue to worsen until around your mid-60s, when it levels off.
You might not ask what presbyopia is, but you would probably instantly recognize the concept of needing reading glasses as you got older.
What Is the Difference Between Farsightedness and Presbyopia?
While presbyopia does create a version of farsightedness, it is different from traditional farsightedness that a child or young adult might be diagnosed with. Traditional farsightedness is also a vision condition that has its own name, called hyperopia. Hyperopia not only affects your near vision, but your distance as well.
When you have presbyopia, it causes farsightedness due to the loss of flexibility in the lenses of your eyes. Hyperopia is usually caused by the eyeball simply being too short. While the symptoms for both presbyopia and hyperopia are similar, the actual causes for each condition are different.
What Causes Presbyopia?
Before you can truly answer the question, “Does everyone eventually get presbyopia?” you need to know what causes it. Images appear in your eye as light, as the brain processes what you saw. In order to do this, the eye needs to focus on an image, whether it’s close to the person or far away from them.
There is a small muscle in the inside of your eyes that expands or contracts the lenses that allows you to focus. It’s similar to the way a camera works. As you age, the lenses of your eyes create new cells, and the lenses develop new layers.These new layers add thickness to your lenses and make it more difficult for the muscle to focus on items that are closer to you, creating the condition presbyopia. So, the answer to “Does everyone eventually get presbyopia?” is, “Yes, almost everyone does.”
Risk Factors for Presbyopia
Part of the answer to “What is presbyopia?” is determining the risk factors that define whether or not you’ll develop this vision condition and at what age the symptoms of presbyopia will begin for you. If you’re under 40, and you think you need presbyopia treatment, you might have premature presbyopia.
There are some common risk factors that might determine if you will develop this age-related farsightedness earlier than others. These risk factors include:
- Certain medications, such as:
- Allergy medications
- Attention-deficit medications
- Antianxiety drugs
- Farsightedness or hyperopia
- Past head trauma
- Certain diseases, including:
- Multiple sclerosis
- And others
If you have one or more of these risk factors, you might find yourself facing the onset of presbyopia symptoms at an earlier age than other people. You’ll need to get a presbyopia diagnosis to be certain.
How Is Presbyopia Diagnosed?
If you suspect that you have presbyopia, you’ll need to know for sure before receiving treatment. You can go to your favorite eye care provider for a diagnosis, the process begins with an eye examination to determine your vision capabilities.
The first part of the examination begins with a refraction assessment. This helps the doctor determine how well you see things both near and far. It can help them determine if you’re nearsighted or farsighted, and it will also show the doctor if you’re struggling with presbyopia or with astigmatism.Your doctor might also want to dilate your pupils.
This is done with drops, and it allows your doctor to see inside the eye itself to discover if you have any structural issues that are causing problems with your eyesight. You should leave the appointment knowing whether or not you have presbyopia.If you don’t have an eye doctor you regularly visit, Art of Optiks has a number of certified doctors, technicians, and opticians who are qualified to perform extensive eye examinations and fit you with glasses.
Signs and Symptoms of Presbyopia
In order to take the first steps toward a diagnosis, you need to recognize the signs of presbyopia. Unfortunately, some of the symptoms can sneak up on you, or you might dismiss them. After all, it is expected for you to get age-related farsightedness at some point in your life.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of presbyopia include:
- Blurry vision when you hold an item you’re trying to read at a normal distance
- Eye strain or a feeling of tiredness in your eyes
- Adding more light than usual when you read
- You get a headache when you read up close
- Hold papers and books further away from you while reading
It’s always best to see your eye doctor, so they can figure out if you have presbyopia or some other condition, instead of assuming you have it.
What Are the Most Common Presbyopia Treatments?
After you recognize the signs and get your diagnosis, you need to decide which presbyopia treatment is right for you. There are a variety of treatments available. It is important to remember that some treatments are temporary fixes, while others are more permanent.
The decision about the treatment for presbyopia is a personal one, and you need to decide on a treatment that best fits your personal lifestyle. Here’s a look at some of the most common treatments:
If you don’t want to wait for prescription eyeglasses or the expense involved in purchasing them, you can sometimes find a pair of readers that make it easier for you to see when you read or perform other close work-related tasks. Readers are typically available in a couple of different prescription strengths, but you should make sure to try on different pairs until you find the right one for your current eyesight. These readers are normally found at pharmacies or big-box retail stores.Unfortunately readers do not correct for astigmatism and do not account for the fact that one eye may need a little different power than the other.
#2. Prescription Eyeglasses
It is usually better to have your doctor write you a prescription for eyeglasses. This option provides you with a little more customization, since the prescription indicates the strength of the lenses. Also, you can pick out the frames that you like the best from your eye doctor. At Art of Optiks, we have a large selection of luxury eyewear for you to choose from to find your perfect fit.
If you already wear eyeglasses for nearsightedness, then you’ll probably need to invest in a pair of bifocals, and your doctor can write the prescription for the cut of the lenses easily. You’ll be able to choose from a selection of frames that can be worn at almost any time, since the lenses are cut to help you when you need to see far away or close up.
#4. Progressive Lenses
Bifocals and trifocals are noticeable for the distinct line in the design of the lenses. You might not want bifocals or trifocals for this reason. If you suffer from nearsightedness and presbyopia, you might consider progressive lenses.These types of lenses have a seamless lense and have no visible lines, while still providing the same effect as bifocals.
#5. Contact Lenses
If you’re one of those people that don’t want to wear glasses, or don’t enjoy the hassle of keeping up with them, you might consider the option of contact lenses. However, if you only need corrective lenses for when you read or do tasks that you need to look at closely, you don’t want to be constantly putting in and taking out contact lenses. You may be a candidate for multifocal contact lenses, or perhaps monovision where one eye is corrected for distance and one eye is corrected for near.Schedule an appointment with us today for your personalized contact lens fitting.
#6. KAMRA Inlay
If you haven’t had cataract surgery, you might consider KAMRA inlay. This is an implant into the eye that’s been approved by the FDA. Your eye surgeon will surgically implant the device inside your eye, which will then help correct the symptoms of presbyopia over time. However, this option can often be pretty expensive.
#7. Refractive Surgery
Another surgical option is refractive surgery. You need to carefully consider if surgery is the best option for your lifestyle, since it comes with some risks. However, if you only use glasses when you read, you might think that this type of surgery is too extreme for you.
Refractive surgery is considered a minimally invasive procedure and is performed as an outpatient surgery. This type of eye surgery is usually done using a laser and a monovision procedure, which means that one eye is corrected for farsightedness while the other is corrected for nearsightedness. You can expect your doctor to recommend one of three refractive surgeries, including:
You can work closely with your eye surgeon to determine which one will present you with the best results based on your personal situation.
#8. Lens Replacement
Also called refractive lens exchange (RLE), lens replacement is similar to cataract surgery. There are a variety of implants that can be used in this type of surgery to correct a variety of vision issues, including:
As with all eye surgeries, you need to discuss the possibilities with your eye doctor, so you can make the best decision for yourself and your lifestyle.
#9. Corneal Inlays
Corneal inlays are one of the newer types of eye surgery, and it isn’t as commonly used to correct presbyopia, but it can. Typically placed in only a single eye, a small plastic ring is inserted into your cornea which creates a pinhole effect and eliminates blurriness.
#10. Eye Drops
There are now new drops out on the market that correct for mild presbyopia. One drop per day can reduce or even eliminate the need for reading correction for up to 8 hours. Schedule a consultation with an Art of Optiks doctor today to see if you’re a candidate for these eye drops.
Tips to Avoid Developing Presbyopia
While presbyopia is age-related farsightedness, there are some steps you can take to avoid developing it or put it off for as long as possible. You want to postpone these issues as long as possible. Some tips to delay the development of presbyopia are:
- Always wear sunglasses
- Make sure there’s always plenty of light when you work or read
- Stop smoking and limit your alcohol intake
- Keep up with your annual eye exam
- Drink water and stay hydrated
- Eat healthily with lots of leafy greens
- Exercise regularly
Even as you work to avoid developing presbyopia, you do need to write down any symptoms you might notice and call your eye care professional if you think there’s an issue.
Reach Out If You Have Presbyopia Symptoms
At Art of Optiks, we’re ready to help you determine if your symptoms are caused by presbyopia. Our professional team is ready to perform a one-time eye exam or your annual exams. We can also help you pick out a great pair of glasses or fit you for contact lenses. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!