The medical term presbyopia is Greek for “old eyes.” But before you start obsessing about your ebbing youth, relax. Remember that the loss of clear, up-close vision eventually happens to all of us. It’s not a disease; it’s as normal as wrinkles. And there’s an upside!
There are eyeglasses — even funky, fashionable ones! Or those clever “studious type” specs you’ve been eyeing. Whether it’s contact lenses or correction surgery, there are so many choices that it may make this rite of passage a little less of a bummer. Don’t worry; whatever you choose, you’ll be reading menus again in no time.
If you’re over 40 and have started to notice blurry vision up close, at mid-range (arm’s length), or in low light, you may be experiencing the first signs of presbyopia.
Presbyopia is the normal loss of near focusing ability that occurs with age. Because it’s a natural part of aging, there’s no escaping presbyopia, even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. Luckily, there are solutions—such as progressive lenses—that can enable you to experience clear vision at every distance once again.
Whether you already wear glasses or have never worn them before, presbyopia can affect you. Talk to an eyecare professional if you experience any of these symptoms.
Additionally, you may find yourself engaging in these behaviors to see clearly.
Changing glasses to see clearly at different distances
Tilting your head to view objects at mid-range
Holding a book or phone at arm’s length to read
Raising your glasses to focus on text or objects at close-range
Zooming in on your phone or tablet to read small text or see details
If you’re experiencing presbyopia, there are several treatment options to consider:
If you’ve never required vision correction before, a simple pair of reading glasses can help with close tasks. The obvious downside is that you’ll need to remove them to see objects at mid-range or in the distance.
Bifocals, trifocals, and multifocal lenses offer different zones of clear vision so you can see at multiple distances. However, wearers experience abrupt transitions as well as blurry vision between zones.
The best solution by far is a pair of progressive lenses, which enable wearers to see clearly at every distance with smooth transitions from near to far. Additionally, progressive lenses don’t have ugly and distracting “bifocal” lines.