Presbyopia: Causes and Treatments
If you are 40 or older and have been experiencing blurring while reading, looking at your computer screen, or doing close-up work such as sewing, you may be experiencing a condition known as presbyopia.
Presbyopia is very common in adults older than 40. In fact, it’s something that just about everybody will experience once they get older. It’s the most common physiological change that occurs in the adult eye and is believed to cause near universal vision impairment among older adults.
Symptoms of Presbyopia
Usually, the symptoms are similar to near-sightedness: The inability to read text or see objects close up. But for some people, presbyopia can lead to headaches and eye strain.
The onset of presbyopia can occur quickly. Some people claim that it’s like a switch went off in their eyes. One day they could see fine and on the next they had trouble focusing on objects or text that was up close. While that may be an exaggeration, it’s often not far from the truth.
How can you tell if you are experiencing presbyopia?
You will suddenly need to hold books, magazines, newspapers, restaurant menus and other text at arm’s length to see it clearly enough to read. Prolonged close-hand work – such as sewing, handwriting or embroidery – can often lead to headaches, eye strain and fatigue.
Causes of Presbyopia
Presbyopia is directly related to ageing. While the symptoms are similar to astigmatism, or near-sightedness, presbyopia is not caused by problems with the shape of the eyeball itself. Instead, presbyopia is caused by a gradual thickening of the lens and the loss of flexibility of the natural lens within your eye.
Over time, the lens becomes harder and less elastic. These age-related changes occur within the proteins of the eye’s lens. Other contribution factors include age-related changes to the muscle fibres surrounding the lens. Because they lose elasticity, the eye has a harder time focusing on objects or test that is up close.
Presbyopia and Reading Glasses
The most common treatment of presbyopia is to use over-the-counter reading glasses or prescription eyeglasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses. Bifocal refers to the eyeglasses having two points of focus. The top half of the lens contains a prescription for distance vision. The bottom half of the lens uses a stronger prescription for improving the eye’s ability to view up close objects and texts.
Progressive addition lenses are similar to bifocals, but instead of featuring a viewable line that distinguishes the top from the bottom lenses, they provide a more gradual visual transition so that they appear more like normal prescription glasses.
Reading glasses that offer magnification are a less costly solution for presbyopia. They are available in a wide range of magnifications and styles and can be found at most pharmacies and drug chain stores.
Presbyopia and Contact Lenses
For some people with presbyopia, the use of multi-focal contact lenses can provide a solution. These are available in both soft lens and gas permeable firm lens options. But the extended use of contact lenses can cause irritation to the eye over time and may even develop into Contact Lens Disorder.
Presbyopia can worsen over time, so the prescription you get for your bifocals, progressive addition glasses or contact lenses will periodically have to be changed. This can be quite expensive because you may need to replace your glasses every few years. Even the cost of inexpensive reading glasses can add up when you have to keep buying new ones as your presbyopia gets worse as you age.
A Better Solution: Ethos Bright Eyes
Bright Eyes is a type of eye drops that has been scientifically formulated for treating the symptoms of presbyopia. By applying just a few drops of Bright Eyes to your eyes daily, you can eliminate the symptoms of presbyopia and ease the strain that can come with this common condition.
Presbyopia isn’t something you can simply ignore. The condition can worsen to the point where you are unable to see or read anything up close to your eyes. If you have begun to experience the symptoms of presbyopia, then you should consider using Bright Eyes drops so you can start feeling and seeing better again fast.
Author: Professor Steven Charles Gallant