Learn more about Presbyopia, including The Symptoms, The Causes, and The Treatments.

The information below is not intended for self diagnose of an eye condition. If you are worried or suffering from an eye problem, please call us on 0208 524 2887 and book in to see us.

Bhavita Magudia
Presbyopia - Explained
February 21, 2019
Back to Common Eye Conditions

What Is Presbyopia

Presbyopia occurs after 40 years of age; it is where you lose the ability to focus at near, see read small print or see texts & emails on your phone. It is a normal aging process and nothing to worry about. As you age the correction in your glasses or contact lenses required to correct presbyopia will change too.

Presbyopia - Symptoms

• Moving your smartphone away so you can see it your text or emails more clearly

• Moving reading material away from you so you can read clearly

• Increasing the text size on your phone, computer and smart devices

• Difficulty in seeing small print or text

• You eyes feel strained after reading or concentrating on near tasks

• Headaches after close up activity

• Your eyes feel tired after reading or concentrating on near tasks

• You feel you need to magnify small print

• You start borrowing other people's glasses to see better when reading a menu or reading a text

Presbyopia - Causes

Presbyopia is the natural aging process of the natural intraocular lens. The eye has a lens that sits behind the iris and changes shape to focus on different objects at different distances.  As we get older, the natural lens in our eyes becomes thicker and loses flexibility. Age related changes also occur to the muscle fibers surrounding the lens, as we age they become less elastic. These both cause the lens’ ability to focus on close objects to become worse, causing blurring of vision when looking at near objects.

Presbyopia - Treatments

Glasses can correct your struggle with seeing close up. You have a few different options, these are:

1. Reading glasses. Where the glasses are only used to read or used for near activities (activities within arms length).  The whole lens is dedicated to your near vision only, giving you a larger field of view when completing near tasks.

2. Bifocals are glasses that have dual vision. The top part of the lenses is used for distance vision and the bottom half has a near segments that are used for near tasks or reading. Your intermediate (arms length) vision is not corrected with bifocals and there is a visible line present on the lenses.

3. Varifocal glasses correct your distance, intermediate and near vision. They are a fantastic general-purpose pair of glasses that allow you to see at all distances. However if you do spend a significant amount of your time completing near activities, such as computer work or reading, a second pair of reading glasses will make life easier for those activities.

You can have different treatments on your lenses to aid the clarity in your vision. Anti glare or anti reflection lenses can help reduce unwanted reflections in your vision, transition lenses that act like sunglasses in bright conditions. You can also have polarising sunglasses, which are the best for reducing glare from the sun; these sunglasses can be made in reading, bifocals or varifocals.

Contact lenses

1. Distance vision contact lenses with a pair of reading glasses over the top, to be used when you want to read or complete near tasks.

2. Multifocal contact lenses, these are like Varifocals but in the form of contact lenses.

3. Monovision contact lenses, this is where your dominant eye is corrected for distance vision and the non-dominant eye is corrected for your near vision

Laser eye surgery

LASIK laser eye surgery is where the eye surgeon makes a thin, hinged flap into your cornea. They then use a laser to remove the inner layers of the cornea; this changes shape of the cornea to desired visually outcome. Lasik recovery is usually quick.

1. Monovision Lasik, this is where your dominant eye is corrected for distance vision and the non-dominant eye is corrected for near vision.

2. PresbyLASIK, this is a multifocal LASIK procedure where the surface of cornea is corrected like the configuration of multifocal contact lenses, allowing you to see at distance, intermediate and near

Refractive lens exchange

1. Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is similar to the cataract surgery procedure. Even though you do not have cataracts, your natural lens is removed and is replaced with an artificial multifocal replacement intraocular lens (multifocal IOL), allowing you to see at distance, intermediate and near.  You could also do monovision, or one eye multifocal and the other eye corrected with a distance replacement intraocular IOL

2. Refractive lens exchange (RLE) with an accommodating intraocular lens (IOL) allows you to see at distance, intermediate and near. The intraocular lens (IOL) shifts its position in the eye according to what you are looking at.