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Dealing with Presbyopia

Ever wonder why people around 50 need to wear reading glasses? With age, your eye's lens grows less flexible, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. This is called presbyopia. And it's universal.

Those with untreated presbyopia may hold printed text at arm's length to be able to focus properly. In addition to reading, engaging in other close-range tasks, for example, needlepoint or handwriting, could also cause headaches, eyestrain or fatigue. In order to treat presbyopia, there are several options available, whether you wear eyeglasses and contact lenses.

One of the most popular preferences is reading glasses, but these are generally most useful for those who wear contacts or for people who don't need to wear glasses for correcting distance vision. Although reading glasses are easy to find at pharmacies or drugstores, it is not recommended to buy them until you have the advice of your optometrist. The reason for this is that reading glasses may be helpful for brief periods of reading but they can result in eyestrain when used for long stretches of time.

If you would rather just wear one pair of glasses at a time, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses (PALs). PALs and multi-focals are glasses with separate points of focus; the bottom part helps you see nearby objects. If you already wear contacts, it's recommended to speak to your eye care professional to discuss multifocal contact lenses. Additionally, you may be able to benefit from a treatment approach known as monovision, where each eye wears a different kind of lens; one that corrects distance vision and one to correct close vision.

Since your sight changes as time goes on, you should expect your prescription to increase periodically. However, it's also crucial to research your options before making choices about your vision; you can be susceptible to presbyopia, even if you've had refractive surgery.

Ask your optometrist for an unbiased perspective. We can give you the tools to help you deal with presbyopia and your changing vision in a way that's both beneficial and accessible.