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Presbyopia: Managing the Inevitable

Ever wonder why older people prefer books with larger font sizes? Because as you age, your eye's lens is likely to become more and more inflexible, making it more difficult to focus on near objects. The clinical term for this is presbyopia. It's something that affects all of us.

Those with untreated presbyopia may hold reading material at arm's length in order to focus properly. Performing other close-range activities, like embroidery or writing, could also result in headaches, eyestrain or fatigue. In order to treat presbyopia, there are a number of alternatives available, regardless of whether you are a glasses or contact lens wearer.

An oft-used solution is reading glasses, though these are mostly efficient for contact lens wearers or for people who don't already wear glasses for problems with distance vision. These are readily available, but it's best not to get them until you have been examined by your eye care professional. Those inexpensive reading glasses may be useful for quick blocks of reading time but they can eventually cause fatigue when worn for a long time. A more beneficial alternative to drugstore reading glasses are custom made ones. These can address additional eye issues such as correct astigmatism, comfortably accommodate prescriptions that vary between the two eyes, and, the optic centers of the lenses can be customized to meet the needs of the person who wears them. The reading distance is another detail that can be customized to accommodate your unique needs.

If you would rather not have to keep track of more than one pair of glasses, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people respond really well to. Essentially, these are glasses with separate points of focus; the bottom section helps you see things at close range. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist about multifocal contact lenses. Additionally, you may be able to benefit from a treatment technique known as monovision, where one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Since your eyesight changes as time goes on, it's fair to anticipate adjusting your prescription periodically. But it's also important to examine all the options before deciding what's best for your vision; presbyopia can affect you, even if you've had refractive surgery in the past.

Ask your optometrist for an informed perspective. Sight changes as you reach middle age and we want to help you manage it in the best way possible.

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