Healthy Living

Struggling To See Things Clearly When Up Close

Presbyopia is the term used to describe the gradual loss of ability to view things clearly when they are up close. 

It generally tends to occur as part of the ageing process, and so there is nothing you can do in the form of presbyopia prevention to stop yourself from getting this condition. In fact, the word ‘presbyopia’ is Greek for ‘old eye.’ 

A lot of conditions seem to impact as we get older, don’t they? We’re sure those adjusting to hearing aids or dealing with osteoporosis thoroughly agree!

Most people tend to notice this condition after the age of 40-years-old, and it is a type of eye deterioration with age that is very common. In fact, it affects almost 1.7 billion people around the world. 

So, how does presbyopia occur? Inside your eye, behind the coloured iris, there is a clear lens, which alters shape so that light focuses onto the retina, enabling you to see properly. This lens is flexible and soft when you are young, and so it changes shape with ease. It enables you to focus on objects both far away and close-up. Once you turn 40, the lens cannot change as easily because it becomes more rigid. This makes it difficult to do close-up tasks, such as threading a needle or reading.

Presbyopia Symptoms 

There are a number of presbyopia symptoms, which include:

  • You have blurred vision at a normal reading distance
  • You have a hard time reading small print
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Reading and other near vision tasks have become more tiring and less comfortable
  • Visual fatigue 
  • You have to hold your smartphone or other objects and reading materials farther away from your eyes to see them clearly 

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to visit an eye specialist as soon as possible. They will be able to conduct a full evaluation of your eyes to determine whether you have presbyopia.

How Is Presbyopia Treated? 

There are two types of treatment for presbyopia: non-surgical and surgical treatment. So, let’s take a look at both in further detail…

Non-surgical treatments

Non-surgical treatments are the easiest and quickest solution for correcting presbyopia issues. This includes the following:

  • Contact lenses – Monovision and multifocal contact lenses are popular treatment options for presbyopia. Monovision lenses offer different prescriptions for each eye: one for near vision and one for distance. Multifocal lenses, on the other hand, are designed for clear vision across various focal points, working in the same manner as bifocal eyeglasses. 
  • Glasses – This is by far the easiest and most common treatment. Your optician will carry out an eye exam and advise on the best progressive or bifocal lens eyeglasses. A bifocal lens is separated into two sections. The primary, big section is designed to correct distance vision, and the secondary, smaller section enables you to see things up close. Progressive lenses aren’t too different, but there is more of a blend between the two sections.

Surgical treatments 

Surgical options are available for anyone that does not want to depend on contact lenses or glasses for everyday activities. These treatments mean you won’t have to rely on contact lenses or glasses again:

  • Corneal Inlays – These are small lenses that are surgically implanted in the cornea to improve vision. The Raindrop Near Vision and KARMA corneal inlays are the two FDA-approved corneal inlays available at the moment. 
  • Conductive Keratoplasty – With this type of presbyopia surgery, the eye specialist will use a handheld probe that sends radio waves to the cornea. The ophthalmologist will specifically target the waves to adjust the shape of the cornea, thus improving vision. You may also see this laser for long sightedness referred to as NearVision CK.
  • Monovision LASIK – This is a surgery that leaves the less-dominant eye near-sighted while correcting the dominant eye for distance vision. 
  • Multifocal LASIK – This surgery is designed to create a number of ‘power zones’ across the cornea’s surface, improving the depth of clear vision focus from any distance.
  • Refractive Lens Exchange – Finally, we have a refractive lens exchange (RLE), which is an invasive procedure whereby the natural lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial alternative. This reduces your dependence on reading glasses through boosting near vision.

When you have a consultation with your eye specialist, they will be able to advise you on the best solution for your case specifically. 

So there you have it: some advice on what to do if you’re struggling to see up close. We hope this helps!

Karla Urwitz
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