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Focusing on Presbyopia

Often, middle-aged folks find that they're beginning to have some trouble reading. Being able to see clearly things that are up close is an age related function of your vision which gets weaker as you become older. Why? With age, the lens of your eye is likely to become less flexible, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. This is called presbyopia. And it's universal.

Those with undiagnosed presbyopia may hold reading material at arm's length in order to focus properly. Additionally, performing other close-range tasks, like embroidery or writing, could also lead to eyestrain in individuals who have developed this condition. For those who want to deal with presbyopia, it's important to know that there are a few alternatives available, whether you currently wear glasses, contacts or nothing at all.

One of the most popular preferences is reading glasses, though these 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 better not to buy a pair until you've seen the results of a comprehensive visual exam. Those cheap reading glasses may be useful for short periods of time but they can eventually result in fatigue with extended use. A more beneficial alternative to drugstore reading glasses are custom made ones. They can also rectify astigmatism, accommodate prescriptions which are not the same in both eyes, and, the optic centers of the lenses can be adjusted to fit the person who wears them. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.

If you already wear glasses, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people respond really well to. Essentially, these are eyeglasses with more than one point of focus; the lower portion helps you see things at close range. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist to discuss multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment technique which is called monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Because your vision changes with age, you can anticipate adjusting your prescription periodically. Presbyopia could be a problem for people even after refractive surgery, so it is it's worthwhile to take the time to find out about all the options before making decisions about your vision care.

It's best to speak to your eye doctor for an unbiased opinion. Vision changes as you age and we want to keep you informed so you deal with your changing eyesight in the best way possible.


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