Presbyopia and Difficulty Reading
Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Did You Know? There are over 3 million cases of presbyopia a year
Presbyopia in Varying Severity Affects 100% of the Population Aged over 45
Maintaining Overall Health can Greatly Impact Presbyopia Progression
Presbyopia is a very common condition that is manageable. While the condition can be frustrating and have a significant impact on a patient’s life it is important to combat the symptoms as soon as possible. Getting relief from symptoms early can decrease frustrations normally associated with presbyopia.
Please use this guide as a resource for knowledge and understanding of presbyopia cause, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Presbyopia is caused by a hardening of the lens of the eye, which occurs with aging. As a patients lens becomes less flexible, it can no longer change shape to focus on close-up images. As a result, these images appear out of focus. Certain factors can make you more likely to develop presbyopia, including:
- Age. Age is the greatest risk factor for presbyopia. Almost everyone experiences some degree of presbyopia after age 40.
- Other medical conditions. Being farsighted or having certain diseases — such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis or cardiovascular diseases — can increase your risk of premature presbyopia which occurs in people younger than 40.
- Drugs. Certain drugs are associated with premature presbyopic symptoms, including antidepressants, antihistamines and diuretics.
Symptoms typically arise gradually, specifically after a patient turns 40 years old. Symptoms can worsen when tired, in dim lighting or after consuming alcohol. It is important to see a doctor if the patient has trouble reading or any close up activity is difficult. The following are signs of presbyopia:
- A tendency to hold reading material farther away to make the letters clearer
- Blurred vision at normal reading distance
- Eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close work
Presbyopia is diagnosed by a basic eye exam. A complete exam involves a series of test to properly diagnose any symptoms or problems related to vision and ocular muscles. While being examined a patient may receive pupil dilatation so the provider can look well into the eye. Bright lights, lens tests to rate vision, reaction testing, and other tools may be used in an eye exam
There are several options for treatment, with varying options depending on the stage of a patient’s condition. Treatment options are tailored to combat the inability to focus vision on anything nearby. The following offer relief to hindered vision:
- Eyeglasses can be made to fit each patient uniquely.
- Contact lenses can be made to fit each patient uniquely.
- Refractive surgery, which changes the shape of your cornea.
- Lens implants replace the natural lens of the eye with synthetic version.
- Corneal inlays place a small plastic ring to the edge of the cornea in order to change its curve.
For more information on presbyopia and other ocular conditions, please visit: http://www.aao.org/